All-Female Flight Begins Women Of Aviation Week

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Women of Aviation Week will kick off with the arrival of an Air Canada flight at Vancouver International Airport. Onboard the airplane will be an all-female flight crew and they'll be cleared to land by a female air traffic controller in a media event. That it took a coordinated effort by WOAW, Air Canada and Nav Canada to put together perhaps highlights the gender imbalance in aviation. The crew, controller and a female aviation technician will take part in a news conference at YVR to mark International Women's Day (March 8) and celebrate the granting of the first pilot certificate to a female in 1910. According to the Institute for Women of Aviation Worldwide the numbers of women working in aviation remain stubbornly far below the ratios achieved in most other professions and in some cases are even dropping despite events like this organized by this group and others.

The rest of the week will be highlighted by more than 100 events around the world aimed at showing girls and women that aviation careers are open to them. In many of those events, women and girls who have never flown in a small aircraft before will go for a short flight provided by a volunteer pilot. More than 15,000 flights are expected and girls who register their flights can win a variety of prizes. Those inspired to take flying lessons can win scholarships toward further flight training by being the first, second and third participants to solo an aircraft after taking a WOAW week introductory flight.