Women in Aviation Conference Highlights

By the close of the 21st Annual Women in Aviation International (WAI) Conference on Feb. 27 in Orlando, Florida, nearly 3,000 attendees had made their presence felt. They came from all aviation disciplines, including airlines, corporate flying, the military, maintenance, research, academia, engineering, business and more (for a first-hand look at the Conference, click here for a blog entry from Flying Managing Editor Connie Sue White.) The theme, "It's a Small World" rang true with more than double the number of international visitors (from 20 foreign countries) compared with last year's event. Highlights included an address from FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt, who told the gathering, "This is the most marvelous mentoring center I think I've ever seen." Along the way, the organization raised $18,315 toward its endowment, which now constitutes some $650,000. More than $678,000 in scholarships was distributed to recipients of all ages and disciplines. Exhibitors numbered 125 separate companies and organizations. The Experimental Aircraft Association officially confirmed it would continue to host WomenVenture during this year's EAA AirVenture Oshkosh event, marking the third consecutive year for its support. WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian said, "Once again, this year, everyone's passion for aviation was displayed in their enthusiastic approach to learning, mentoring and expanding their aviation knowledge and advancing their aviation careers." Next year's conference (Feb. 24-26, 2011) will be at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino, Reno, Nevada. For more info, go to www.wai.org.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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