AOPA, Women in Aviation, International join forces

July 30, 2009

AOPA and Women in Aviation, International (WAI) announced a new collaborative agreement July 30 intended to strengthen general aviation and increase the number of women in the aviation industry.

“America’s women are a tremendous audience for general aviation and are extremely important for our industry’s growth,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller at AirVenture. “They currently make up only 6 percent of the total pilot population, so the more we can do to encourage women to bring their enthusiasm and talents to aviation, the stronger we will all be.”

“Ensuring a strong general aviation industry is key to drawing women in, whether as pilots or mechanics or in some other aspect of the industry,” said Dr. Peggy Chabrian, president of WAI. “That’s why Women in Aviation is looking forward to working closely with AOPA on its General Aviation Serves America campaign. It addresses the root cause of so many of general aviation’s challenges—a lack of understanding about what GA is and does.”

The announcement came during a drizzly afternoon at EAA AirVenture. The gray skies did little to dampen visitors’ enthusiasm, however. Eventually the clouds cleared off to permit the afternoon airshow to commence.

Women in Aviation AOPA President Craig Fuller and Dr. Peggy Chabrian, president of WAI

As part of the collaboration, AOPA and WAI will have a stronger presence at each other’s premier events, the AOPA Aviation Summit, Nov. 5 through 7, in Tampa, and the 21st Annual WAI Conference, Feb. 25 through 27, 2010, in Orlando, Fla.

At the AOPA Aviation Summit, Chabrian will join Fuller and other industry leaders in the inaugural session on the opening day of the Summit to discuss the key issues facing the industry. In addition, AOPA will feature an all-new “Women’s Wing” area, hosted by WAI.

At the WAI Conference, AOPA will expand its exhibit, present additional AOPA Air Safety Foundation seminars, and award a student pilot scholarship for WAI members. The scholarship will provide $3,000 toward a recreational, sport, or private pilot certificate.

Women in Aviation International is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the encouragement and advancement of women in all aviation career fields and interests. Members include astronauts, corporate pilots, maintenance technicians, air traffic controllers, business owners, educators, journalists, flight attendants, high school and university students, air show performers, airport managers and many others.