New program encourages women to let their aviation dreams take flight

New program encourages women to let their aviation dreams take flight

The Edmonton International Airport together with Elevate Aviation is launching a new learning centre for youth ages 15 to 24 to encourage more youth and women to get involved in the aviation industry.

Elevate Aviation, a non-profit company dedicated to helping women pursue careers in aviation, launched its program Wednesday at the airport, where it will take place.

Kendra Kincade, founder and president of Elevate Aviation and an air traffic controller with Nav Canada, said she hopes the program encourages more women to pursue jobs in aviation.

“We, personally, want to help women succeed and offer careers where they can find economic security,” Kincade said. “There are only five percent, female commercial pilots, there are 17 percent air traffic controllers, about one percent aircraft maintenance engineers.”

Kincade said that there are many possible careers in the aviation industry like air traffic controllers, flight services specialists, engineers, and technologists, but not many people are aware of all the options, and that’s one of the things she hopes the program will change.

The program has support from government funding and other groups including Nav Canada and the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Alberta Labour Minister Christina Gray said she and the Alberta government are proud to support the work Elevate Aviation is doing.

“Elevate Aviation is giving women, Indigenous people, and youth the best possible start to reaching their goals in the aviation industry.”

The government is giving the program a $236,000 grant through the Alberta Labour Market Partnership Program.

Kincade said the centre is designed to “ignite passion and open a world of possibilities through immersive, authentic learning experiences for students and adults.”

Participants will have hands-on experiences, visiting traffic control towers, going behind the scenes on aircraft and at the airport, and more.

“Canadian North is actually going to turn their 737 into an escape room to show safety.”

The centre is open to all genders, but those who come with coed groups are being asked to try to bring at least 50 percent women to help balance the gender gap.

The program starts next spring and Kincade said she’s excited to inspire young women towards possible future careers.

“It is so exciting and it feels like all the effort we’re putting in into this organization is worth it and we’re actually creating a bit of a change.”

By Clare Rayment
Source: Edmonton Journal