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Women urged to explore aviation careers at upcoming Abbotsford Airshow

Aviation 101 introduces women to industry through day of mentorship and activities
Currently women make up only 6 per cent of private pilots in Canada. (Submitted photo)

An Aviation 101 workshop for women is coming to the Abbotsford Airshow.

The one-day seminar will introduce women ages 16 and up to the world of aviation. Participants will hear from inspirational women, get hands-on with fun, interactive activities and then attend the kick-off Friday evening airshow highlighting female participation in the air and on the ground.

The aviation industry has long been recognized as an arena predominantly occupied by men. But women are breaking down barriers, and this workshop is designed “to create a platform for women to learn, network, and gain the necessary knowledge and resources to pursue their dreams in aviation,” said Robin Hadfield, president of the Ninety-Nines Inc., International Organization of Women Pilots.

“We firmly believe in breaking down barriers and fostering a diverse and inclusive environment,” she said.

They have partnered with Elevate Aviation for the first time to bring the workshop to the Abbotsford Airshow on Aug. 11. The groups are two of the largest non-profits focused on women within aviation sectors within Canada.

Aviation 101 will be filled with classroom-based instruction followed by a catered lunch, then guided instructional tours of Chinook Helicopters aircraft and flight simulators and a visit to the Abbotsford control tower. In addition, the Abbotsford Airshow is providing a fee pass to enjoy Friday evening’s performance.

Dina Jammaz, an air traffic controller with NavCanada, and Elevate Aviation’s director of community engagement & Indigenous partnerships, said she is excited to bring more women into aviation.

“Currently women make up only 6 per cent of private pilots in Canada, female mechanics make up less-than 2 per cent of all mechanics worldwide, and only 17 per cent of the air traffic controllers in Canada are women,” she explained. “By reaching out to women, the Aviation 101 workshop is helping to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the aviation industry.”

“The future of women within aviation is limitless,” added Hadfield. “Women have been involved in aviation as pilots, mechanics, engineers, breaking records for speed, endurance and altitude for over 90 years, but we are a still like a best-kept secret – and it’s time to get the word out that aviation offers a great career.”

Aviation 101 is not just about careers, but learning how an airplane flies, radio communications, navigation, air traffic control and Canada’s air space. This one-day seminar offers something for those interested in general aviation or those thinking of a career.

It takes place at Chinook Helicopters at the Abbotsford Airport from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m on Aug. 11. The cost is $15 for students and $30 for the general public.

For more information or to register, visit

Abbotsford News Staff

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