Sky limit lifted for flying girls

Getting girls interested in aviation in Langley will get a boost from the Township council.

Kirsten Brazier was at Monday’s council meeting to talk about Sky’s No Limit – Girls Fly Too, a program that will see women and girls come to the Langley Regional Airport this March 8-9.

Brazier, a pilot of both airplanes and helicopters, said that last year’s event, the first of its kind in Langley, wa a success, and now organizers want to build on that.

Members of the RCAF, Coast Guard, Air Cadets, and RCMP will all be there to speak to visitors, as will people who work in the various maintenance trades around the airport.

There will be tours of the control tower and free flights for women and girls who haven’t been up in a light aircraft before.

The event will get some financial assistance, as Councillor Grant Ward moved that a $2,500 grant be given to the event.

Normally, grants are given out once a year and applied for some time in advance by various non-profits around the Township.

“Time is of the essence,” Ward noted, as the event is coming up soon.

The vote was unanimous.

Anyone interested in taking a daughter to the event can register at www.girlsfly2.ca.

COME FLY WITH ME – PRESS RELEASE AS PROVIDED:

The Sky’s No Limit – Girls Fly Too!

This event encourages girls and women to explore the aviation industry

Look up, way up… and you might see something that transforms the way women and girls view the world of aviation – and their futures.

The Sky’s No Limit – Girls Fly Too! is a unique event designed to spark women and girls’ interest in the aviation industry by taking them up in the air to experience the joy of flight first-hand and giving them an interactive introduction to the aviation industry.

A celebration of Women of Aviation Worldwide Week (WOAW), The Sky’s No

Limit – Girls Fly Too! will be held for free at the Langley Regional Airport on Saturday and Sunday, March 8 and 9, which coincides with Women of Aviation Worldwide Week (WOAW).

From 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., women and girls of all ages who have never flown in a small aircraft will enjoy free flights, thanks to community-minded partners such as R.D.M. Enterprises and other local businesses.

The entire community (guys too!) can explore aircraft, meet the crews, visit with outstanding women in the aviation industry, and enjoy educational activities, contests, and displays.

The event organizer is Kirsten Brazier, a 20-year bush pilot, whose goal is to encourage more females to think about working in a fascinating and lucrative industry that has traditionally been dominated by males.

“Studies show that one of the major barriers to more women getting involved in aviation and aerospace is the perception that these industries are reserved for men, so they don’t even consider it,” Brazier said.

“We want to change that. We want girls and women to seriously think about careers as pilots, air traffic controllers, mechanics, or aeronautical engineers.”

International Women’s Day has been celebrated since 1911, but for women in the aviation and aerospace industries this date has even earlier significance as the anniversary of the first licensed female pilot worldwide, on March 8,1910.

WOAW is a global outreach initiative centered around International Women’s Day that promotes the advancement of women in the aviation and aerospace industries.

Women of Aviation Worldwide Week aims to awaken women and girls’ interest in aviation by celebrating the contributions of females to the aviation and aerospace industries, promoting the opportunities available to them, and welcoming them to airports around the world.

“Basically, we provide girls and women with an in-depth, inside look at what’s behind the fence and under the hood at the airport in a fun and participatory way,” Brazier said.

At Langley Regional Airport, that means giving first-time female flyers a chance to go up in a helicopter or a Navion aircraft piloted by members of the Fraser Blues Formation Demonstration Team.

Advance registration is required, and those who have previously been on airline flights are eligible.

People can register now at www.girlsfly2.ca.

“The look on their faces says it all,” said Brazier. “When they become airborne, you can see the excitement and exhilaration in their eyes.

“For some, that spark can ignite a passion for flying that can lead to a rewarding career they may not have previously considered,” she said.

“This is an exciting opportunity to attract an under-utilized sector to a field that has many in-demand jobs,” said Langley Regional Airport manager Guy Miller.

“Our airport, for example, is home to 54 businesses and employs over 260 people. There are many opportunities here and in airports around the world, and we look forward to showing local women and girls all that is available to them,” Miller said.

Brazier, a Township of Langley resident, is an Airline Transport-rated fixed-wing pilot and commercial helicopter pilot with more than 20 years of flying experience. Dedicated to getting more women involved in the aviation industry, she previously staged two similar and highly successful The Sky’s No Limit – Girls Fly Too! events in Yellowknife.

In 2012, the event won the Yellowknife Airport the title of ‘Most-Female-Pilot-Friendly Airport Worldwide’ and became the largest single event of its kind in WOAW history.

Last year, the Yellowknife event won five international awards, welcomed more than 2,300 participants, and introduced 634 girls and women to flight, courtesy of local sponsors.

Brazier hopes to achieve the same success in Langley by welcoming 5,000 participants to the airport and making the event the largest of its kind ever held in Canada.

On Feb. 3, she appeared before Langley Township council to speak about the event, which she hopes will attract attention and participation from throughout the region.

“Langley Township has a thriving aviation industry and Langley Regional Airport is at the heart of that success,” said Township Mayor Jack Froese.

“It is a world-class centre for the aviation and aerospace industry and the perfect place to host this unique celebration of Women of Aviation Worldwide Week.  Our airport is a hub for transportation, employment, and education and there is a lot to inspire the girls and women who participate in The Sky’s No Limit. Maybe one day they will be working here themselves,” Froese said.

People can visit facebook.com/SkysNoLimitGirlsFlyToo and follow us on Twitter @GirlsFly_Too.

Background:

• During the past few decades, while the percentage of female doctors, lawyers, and business executives skyrocketed, the percentage of women involved in the sectors of the aviation and aerospace industries traditionally dominated by men remains low and mostly unchanged.

• Less than two per cent of aircraft maintenance engineers are women.

• Less than six per cent of commercial pilots are women.

• Less than three per cent of the Royal Canadian Air Force are women.

• Less than 10 per cent of aerospace engineers are women.

• International Women’s Day has been celebrated since 1911, but for women in the aviation and aerospace industries, this date has an even earlier significance: it is the anniversary of the first licenced female pilot worldwide in 1910.

• Women of Aviation Worldwide Week (WOAW) is a global outreach initiative centered around International Women’s Day that promotes the advancement of women in the air and space technical industries.

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