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ICYMI: Breaking barriers: Women of Aviation Worldwide Week takes off in Squamish

Female and never flown in a small aircraft? Free flights on March 9 at Glacier Air.
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Last year (2023), 120 women took flights during the Fly it Forward event.

It is that time of year again, time for local women to fly free through the air—in planes.

Glacier Air and the BC Coast 99s are again hosting a Fly it Forward event as part of Women of Aviation Worldwide Week at the Squamish Airport on Saturday, March 9.

Fly it Forward event first started in 2010.

The point of the Women of Aviation Week is for girls of all ages to mark the anniversary of the world’s first female pilot licence, which was issued to Raymonde de Laroche of France on March 8, 1910.

“This global event celebrates the accomplishments of women in the aviation industry and is intended to promote aviation awareness and introduce career opportunities for girls and women in the industry,” reads a Squamish news release about the event. “We are excited to work with the community to give the gift of flying for free to women and girls who have never been in a small aircraft before!”

Last year, Glacier Air was able to fly over 120 women and girls at the annual event, however, the weather prevented flights in the morning, so the hope is to get at least 150 up this year.

There are also speakers and an opportunity to learn about the industry by speaking with female pilots and students. 

Owner of Glacier Air, Colette Morin, won the Most Acclaimed Organizer Worldwide award for this event in 2023, an award she had also received for previous years.

Last year, there were about 50 individuals volunteering their time and money to make Fly it Forward day a success, including pilots volunteering personal aircraft, guest speakers travelling up to Squamish, and many women pilots coming out to participate in meet-and-greets and helping throughout the day, according to a spokesperson for Glacier Air.

Morin started flying in Squamish in 1997 and bought Glacier Air in 2002.

The co-host, the BC Coast 99s is an international organization of women pilots that promotes the advancement of aviation.

The Glacier Air offer of a free flight is open to women and girls who have never been in a small aircraft before. Those interested can email iwoawgair99s@gmail.com to register in advance. Include your name, email, phone number, age and weight.

The event starts at 10 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m.

According to the Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide (iWOAW), 12% of all pilot licences in 2023 went to women. 

From 2010 to 2023, the number of pilot licences issued to women grew by 79%.

Find out more on Glacier Air’s website, Facebook or Instagram

 

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