Fantastic outcome of first Girls in Aviation Day calls for repeat effort
The success of Women in Aviation International's first Girls in Aviation Day requires a repeat performance in 2016. The 2016 Girls in Aviation Day is officially set for Saturday, September 24, 2016. Plans are already underway to make this event even bigger and better than the first.
A survey of the 49 WAI chapters in seven countries that participated in the first Girls in Aviation Day revealed:
45% of WAI chapters rated their event as "Perfect!" with an additional 39% rating it "Really a good day with a few bumps here and there."
The smallest event hosted eight girls and the largest saw an estimated 650 girls participate.
The age range of participating girls spans from 4 years old to 18 years old.
75% of the Girls in Aviation Day events took place at airports/FBOs with an additional 18% taking place at an aviation museum.
The majority of WAI chapters partnered with aviation companies, members of the military, airlines, airport authorities, sororities, schools and universities, aircraft manufacturers, EAA chapters, and other groups to present Girls in Aviation Day.
When asked what the most popular activity of Girls in Aviation Day was for the participants, the chapter answers included simulator flying, airport tours, hangar scavenger hunts, dressing in aviation gear, ATC tours, exploring a 737-300, using aviation mechanics' tools, learning the phonetic alphabet, "climbing around the MH-60S Navy helicopter" and more. One WAI chapter contact wrote, "They seemed to all be extremely energetic about sitting in the cockpit of the jets."
Media attention from the general media was all positive. Chapter publicity efforts resulted in coverage in local newspapers ranging from Nairobi's (Nigeria) Daily Nation to The Salt Lake Tribune. Social media buzzed with photos and enthusiastic comments, including a glowing report on Amy Poehler's Smart Girls website (www.amysmartgirls.com) called, "The Sky's the Limit: Celebrating the First Annual Girls in Aviation Day." In a report by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), whose members took part in several Girls in Aviation Day events, one young participant in Raleigh, North Carolina, is quoted as saying, "This is the best day of my life!"
"The best statistic that came out of our survey, though, is that 91% of our chapters say that they would 'enthusiastically' host another Girls in Aviation Day. Nine percent more said they would 'probably' host another event and no one said no to next year," says WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian.
More information on Girls in Aviation Day may be found at www.wai.org/events/giad_2015.cfm.
Women in Aviation, International is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to providing networking, mentoring and scholarship opportunities for women and men who are striving for challenging and fulfilling careers in the aviation and aerospace industries. For more information, contact WAI at 3647 State Route 503 South, West Alexandria, OH 45381, Phone (937) 839-4647; Fax (937) 839-4645 or through www.wai.org.
Note to Editors: The 27th Annual International Women in Aviation Conference will be held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tennessee from March 10-12, 2016. For more information, visit www.wai.org.
Molly Martin, Outreach Director
Women in Aviation International