What do you get when you put together a bunch of women pilots? Everything from military flying and aerobatics to aviation history and aircraft maintenance techniques, to start the list.
All this and more was available at this year’s Women in Aviation (WAI) Conference in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The conference, running from March 2-4, included educational sessions, workshops and seminars, speakers, and tours of the area’s aviation facilities, businesses, and schools. There was also an exhibit hall, populated by 165 aviation companies and organizations. More than 4,500 people from 19 countries attended, a far cry from the 150 present at the first WAI conference held in 1990.
In addition to the more standard programming, the conference included a Girls in Aviation Day. The event was designed to introduce girls ages 8-17 to aviation and more than 200 young people attended. Among other things, they got to meet with women aviators, learn to navigate with a sectional chart, try out their ATC skills, and get some practice with aircraft maintenance tools.
“This year’s conference reflected the cutting edge of innovation and a passion for aviation,” said WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian. “Combining technology with the traditional enthusiasm and diversity of our attendees is an ideal formula for a successful conference.” WAI also awarded 120 aviation-related scholarships, totaling $643,274. This brings Women in Aviation to $11,000,000 in awards since the beginning of its scholarship program.
Next year’s conference is planned for March 22-24 in Reno, Nevada.
Learn more at WAI.