"We've turbocharged 2015 and WAI has more plans and projects than ever before in our history," says WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian. The focus of 2015 is an outreach to girls as young as 10 as well as to women worldwide.
On the agenda for 2015:
Annual Conference: The 26th Annual International Women in Aviation Conference will be held from March 5-7, 2015, at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas. In addition to dozens of educational, networking and social sessions, conference attendees will hear (invited) speakers Colleen Barrett, President Emeritus, Southwest Airlines; Donna Hrinak, Vice President, Boeing International and President, Boeing Brazil; Jonathan Ornstein, CEO Mesa airlines; Heather Penney, Major, D.C. Air National Guard; and Astonaut Nicole Stott.
For the fourth year, the Saturday of the conference is designated Girls in Aviation Day, where daughters, nieces, friends, and neighbors of members are encouraged to register girls ages 10 to 17 for a fun, action-packed and educational day of learning all aspects of aviation, including a job and college fair for the older girls. In addition, there is an outreach made to local Girl Scout troops. This year, approximately 250 girls are expected to take part.
Scholarships: At the conference, nearly 100 scholarships with a value of more than half a million dollars will be awarded to WAI members. These scholarships provide flight training, including type ratings, maintenance, engineering and dispatcher options, academic tuition, and a variety of recreational pilot opportunities.
EAA WomenVenture: 2015 represents the eighth year WomenVenture has taken place during EAA AirVenture. With each year, WomenVenture has grown in both popularity and size, making it a standard feature of AirVenture. Hundreds of women participate in this day-long event that embraces and enhances the AirVenture experience for women. Partnering with EAA, WomenVenture has given women visibility at AirVenture as well as attracting and welcoming new women to the aviation community.
Girls in Aviation Day: Because of the success of the Saturday Girls in Aviation during the conference, an international Girls in Aviation Day is planned for Saturday, September 26, 2015. The International Girls in Aviation Day is designed for girls ages 10 to 17 and will be carried out by WAI's 88 chapters worldwide. Because of the different resources among the chapters, each chapter will present a unique program for local girls. The chapters will be supplied with a Girls in Aviation kit to aid publicity, outreach, and activities such as flying simulators, building a model airport, preflighting an airplane, reading a sectional chart, and meeting and hearing the stories of the role models in their midst.
"Of course, there's more - breakfasts for members and their colleages at the major trade shows, exhibiting at Heli-Expo, Sun 'n Fun, EAA, and NBAA, and more," says Chabrian. "Now with more than 10,000 members, this will be our best year ever."