The Women of Aviation Worldwide Week was held on March 6-12 and the state of Texas can proudly boast three winners that helped to foster aviation awareness and help grow the number of women pilots.
Texas had two winners in the 2016 Most Dedicated Female Pilot Worldwide division, which is awarded to the registered female pilot who conducts the most reported flights (girls reporting divided by number of passenger seats) during the week. Dianna Stanger from Port Lavaca was the overall winner flying 574 girls during the week and Yasmina Platt from Houston was the first finalist.
The South Texas International Airport at Edinburg won the 2016 Most Female-Pilot-Friendly Airport Worldwide Award. This award was presented to the airport hosting one or more official activities that generate the most valid female first flight reports for the week, March 7-13, 2016.
The highly-successful Fly It Forward Challenge took place at the South Texas International Airport. The volunteer-based event was hosted by the airport and Calhoun Air Center, and was an opportunity to foster aviation awareness and help grow the number of women pilots.
The challenge invited pilots to introduce girls of all ages to flying with the goal of addressing the flight introduction gender gap and fostering gender balance in the industry. In addition to free rides, participants learned about the history of women in aviation, received information regarding necessary training and special scholarship opportunities.
The aim of Women of Aviation Worldwide Week is to help women feel welcome, valued and qualified to pursue aerospace based goals; to prepare female students through quality Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) curriculum and to expose girls to positive female role models.
“The WOAW initiative is one that I truly believe in and, after giving someone their first flight, it is one that each new passenger believes in,” said Calhoun Air Center Director Stanger. “Each year Calhoun Air Center tries to target a different location in order to make sure that those kids that are in different areas are able to experience the thrill I get each time I fly. It is one of the most remarkable weeks in terms of the volunteer time, flights given and lives touched.”