WAI Hosts European Regional Conference


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WAI Hosts European Regional Conference

Bill Goldston

September 13, 2010 - As part of an aggressive international outreach, Women in Aviation (WAI) International, in partnership with two of its British chapters, will host a regional conference on November 5-6, 2010. The regional conference will be held at the Brooklands Museum, the home of British aviation, located in Surrey, just outside London. Brooklands-based aircraft companies such as Bleriot, Hawker, Sopwith, Martinsyde and Vickers were key players in the early years of aviation. 

"We couldn't have a better spot for this conference since some 18,600 new aircraft of nearly 250 types were first flown, manufactured or assembled at Brooklands," said Dr. Peggy Chabrian, President of Women in Aviation International. "What's more, Hilda Beatrice Hewlett, the first woman to earn a pilot's license in Britain, earned it there." Brooklands celebrated 100 years of British aviation in 2008. 

Two days of events are planned to encompass commercial, military, general and corporate aviation, including the opportunity to sit on an operational British Airways Concorde while former Captain Mike Bannister narrates a virtual flight. "Our international membership continues to grow," added Chabrian.


"Right now, we have 11 international chapters and more than 600 international members in 61 countries." Speakers for Saturday, November 6 include Dominique Brown, Chief Operating Officer, Quick International Courier; Lt. Col Jennifer Crossman, USAF KC-135 pilot; Captain Suzanna Darcy-Hennemann, record-setting 777 Captain with The Boeing Company and Gabriella Somerville, Managing Director of ConnectJets. Networking and mentoring activities are also planned. Brooklands Museum has generously donated a live Concorde simulator session for four lucky attendees. The winners will be announced at Friday's opening reception. 

Women In Aviation, International began in 1990 and was formally established in 1994 to encourage women to seek opportunities in aviation. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, of the nearly 600,000 active pilots in the United States, approximately six percent are women and only slightly more than three percent ATP rated. Women account for only 3.85 percent of the more than 500,000 non-pilot aviation jobs in the United States.


Women in Aviation, International is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the encouragement and advancement of women in all aviation career fields and interests. Our 7,000+ membership includes 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. 

They provide year-round resources to assist women in aviation and to encourage young women to consider aviation as a career. WAI also offers educational outreach programs to educators, aviation industry members and young people nationally and internationally. In addition, WAI promotes public understanding of the accomplishments and contributions of women in aviation. This includes historic notables such as Amelia Earhart, Bessie Coleman, Eileen Collins, Jeana Yeager, Nicole Malachowski and many others.


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