Girls in Aviation Day touches down in St. Maarten

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New initiative launched to introduce opportunities in avionics to local girls.

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Women in Aviation International (WAI) Girls in Aviation Day is a new collaborative effort by WAI and Member of Parliament (MP) Ludmila De Weever. The initiative is one that focuses on exposing young girls to career opportunities available in the aviation field; one that is predominantly male-driven. The event was first hosted in 2015 and has remained annual; growing every year since its inception. St. Maarten is now added to the list of participating countries.

MP De Weever wishes to extend a special thanks to Sabrina Charville of EDEIS at Grand Case Airport and her team. Connections for Girls in Aviation Day were made possible through drone pilot Aarti Baran and Commander Bud Slabbaert. The event was organized in collaboration with Ludmilla Cuzenard and Florian Vigneaux of HeliRiviera, Kelly Murphy, Kathryn Creedy, Alison Chambers and Kristina Tervo of Women in Aviation International; and was facilitated through Dutch Tours N.V., air traffic controllers, Sophie Rismay Peterson and Cassidy Walker, and St. Barth Executive.

There were many participants from the Sint Maarten Tourism Office as well as staff from the Princess Julianna International Airport (PJIA) who enjoyed the activities enough to interact with the young girls and manned some of the booths. However, the entire experience could not have been as successful without the enthusiastic participation of the students who attended and the staff from Dr. Martin Luther King School.

“I really enjoyed the day. As a young woman in aviation, I think it’s so important to show little girls what’s possible for them, and I hope they can do this again next year, on a larger scale.” said Jovanka De Randamie, Non Aeronautical Business Officer at PJIA.

“I was first introduced to the Women in Aviation International a few years back, and ever since I have been excited to see this come to fruition. To see young girls excited about potential opportunities for successful careers in aviation, it illuminates a space in our economy where otherwise seen as inaccessible.” said MP De Weever.

About Women in Aviation International

Women in Aviation International (WAI) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the encouragement and advancement of women in all aviation and aerospace career fields and interests. The diverse membership includes astronauts, pilots, maintenance technicians, engineers, air traffic controllers, business owners, educators, journalists, flight attendants, high school and university students, air show performers, airport managers, and many others.

At WAI, they strive to encourage, empower, and educate all those whose interests, lives, and work involve aviation and aerospace without regard to race, ethnicity, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, physical or mental abilities, or point of view. They know with certainty that a shared passion for aviation transcends any differences.

PHOTO CAPTION: MP De Weever with organizers of the Girls In Aviation Day and students of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School.

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