This is "World Women in Aviation Week", and will be celebrated in 37 countries until 9th., March. Launched in 2010 by the Women in Aviation Association, headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, this event aims to promote the female contingent of this normally, very masculin, activity. The organization today comprises some 2,000 women worldwide.
Generally, aviation is not a subject which enters women's minds very often, therefore to have days, and hold events for an entire week where we just talk about the subject amongst us women, or where they are only ones who fly or find themselves in groups, well, it encourages them and makes them say, why not ?
It's certainly the case here, at Lachute airport, 90 km from Montreal, in northern Quebec. In these red-roofed hangars surrounding the runway, there are not only garages that allow pleasure aircraft owners to park their 'planes, but also houses, enabling them to live their passion to the full.
Among the fifteen, or so, residents, this is Marguerite and her husband Claude, who have both lived here for 19 years and it's no coincidence.
“There's been a development boom because it's the only legal Airpark in Quebec where people can have their private residence with a bigger than normal garage in which they are able to house their 'plane. So for aviation enthusiasts who love flying, it's very simple, they just open their garage door and taxi almost directly onto the runway, it's so close.”
Marguerite is one of the some 7% of the world's pilots who are women; a figure that has increased by only 2 % since the beginning of the last century, when the first pilot's license was obtained by a woman - Raymonde de Laroche - in March 1910. The idea that piloting is the reserve of men still remains well entrenched, but it's changing slowly!
It is changing, but not quickly. There are a lot of openings for women either as pilots, or mechanics, in fact in all areas concerning aviation.
This is just the beginning, but I think we are coming to a critical mass point. The most obvious example is between me and my wife, but there are a lot of guys in aviation who give it up simply because their wives or girlfriends don't share their interest. In my case if I didn't want to follow her, she would take the plane and carry on alone. In all other areas of aviation, there's a place for women. It's a quiet revolution that's happening, slowly, but surely !
This weekend, more than 300 ladies will probably take-off from this aerodrome, but Marguerite says there are still places available.
Come on girls, it's fun ! There's nothing preventing us ladies from flying.