WAI Signs OBAP’s Open Letter To Unfounded Claims Against Black Pilots

Posted By: Kelly Murphy 2024 Press Releases,

February 12, 2024 – Women in Aviation International (WAI) fully supports the efforts of the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) to formally respond to unfounded claims questioning the qualifications of Black commercial pilots. In OBAP’s public and open letter released today, the organization states, “It is imperative to emphasize that diversity in the flight deck enhances safety, innovation, and the overall effectiveness of the industry. Diverse perspectives contribute to well-rounded decision-making processes, ultimately benefiting all passengers and stakeholders involved.” Most importantly, the letter also encourages when discussing pilots’ qualifications to rely on facts. “The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) sets stringent requirements for all pilots, irrespective of their racial or ethnic background to ensure the safety of air travel. These requirements are rigorous, comprehensive, and non-negotiable.”


“As a longtime partner in fostering greater inclusivity in our industry, WAI has proudly signed OBAP’s letter and offers our continued support and resources as one of the many aviation affinity groups with the same goal,” WAI CEO Lynda Coffman said. “At WAI, we stand for providing access, education, and resources to those that dream of a career in aviation and aerospace, which will only make our industry safer and stronger. When there are more professionals available, there are a wider range of candidates from which to choose with the highest qualifications, experience, and commitment to excellence.”

Lynda added, “We know with certainty that our shared passion for aviation transcends any differences among us. We also know our words are not enough. We recognize the urgent need for action and change in the world, and in the aviation communities specifically. The WAI staff, board of directors, and our more than 18,000 members stand together to carry forth our unwavering mission and to lift one another up with steadfast and absolute support and respect. We are committed to being a meaningful part of the change needed in the world and are dedicated to doing more.”