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Gander Flight Training Works to Increase Number of Women in Aviation

On July 22, Lauren Kattenbusch and Victoria MacKenzie earned their commercial pilots licenses, marked by a third white stripe. The licenses mean they have the ability to fly any single-engine, non-high-performance aircraft in Canada. That does not include airline passenger planes.

According to the International Society of Airline Pilots, just over five per cent of the pilots worldwide are female. At Gander Flight Training, Kattenbusch and MacKenzie are two of the 15 female students who have been working to raise that percentage.

“We’ve seen that number increasing in recent years,” said Gander Flight Training general manager Darlene Colbourne. “We certainly focus our recruitment on that.

Currently, of the 80 students working to be pilots at the school, 15 are women. It doesn’t stop there as the chief flight instructor, two other flight instructors and the school’s owner are female.

Recently, seven of the 15 female students gathered inside a flight school classroom to talk about their ambitions. They come from Corner Brook, Cape Breton, St. John’s and elsewhere in Canada, and that was the case with Kattenbusch and MacKenzie as their background stories differ. More women are coming together to learn about aviation and that is truly a great thing. Having a desire to enter an industry is one thing, but finding the path that allows you to do that is another.

Read more about Gander Flight Training and its tactics to get more women working in aviation