The Federal Aviation Administration is creating a Women in Aviation Advisory Board, and they’re seeking nominations of who should join it. Wouldn’t it be great to have a representative from the drone industry on the board?
The U.S. is facing a shortage of female pilots (only about 5% of the world’s pilots are women). But it’s an issue unique to not just traditional aircraft, but drones too. There were 102,769 remote pilot certificates issued for drone operations as of Sept. 1, 2018 according to the FAA. But of those, only 5,946 (that’s 5.8%) were issued to women, according to a study done by Women and Drones based on FAA registration data.
The new advisory board is designed to provide the FAA with recommendations on better supporting women’s involvement in aviation. Duties could include analyzing industry trends, coordinating efforts among airlines, nonprofit organizations, and aviation and engineering associations to facilitate support for women pursuing aviation careers; expanding scholarship opportunities; and enhancing training, mentorship, education and outreach programs for women interested in aviation careers.
“Our nation is facing a shortage of pilots and aviation professionals,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao. “There are great opportunities in this sector and we want to encourage more women to enter.”
The FAA is accepting nominations for qualified candidates to serve on the Women in Aviation Advisory Board between now and Tuesday, Oct. 29. To nominate someone, visit the Federal Register website.
While not officially sanctioned by the FAA, there are a number of female-focused drone groups out there, including online community Women Who Drone, which tends to focus on photography Facebook group Amelia Droneharts (private group), Facebook group Girls Who Drone, and online community Women and Drones which tends to focus on enterprise and commercial use.
Women and Drones also puts on its annual Women To Watch in UAS awards, which recognize rising stars in the drone industry. The awards ceremony is held every year at the Interdrone conference in Las Vegas.
“We must find ways to inspire women and young people to enter the aviation profession,” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson. “We need pilots, mechanics, engineers and many other professionals to enter the aviation profession pipeline.”
Yes, that includes drone pilots too.