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Women in aviation: an Israeli issue.

Many aviation professionals are aware that in the United States and the EU, female pilots make up around 9% of the total pilot group. This means that almost every tenth pilot you see walking by your gate in the airport is a woman. The percentage of female pilots in these counties has been growing steadily since the 80's and expected to double by 2025. 

So, why there used to be so very few women in aviation? Well, several factors were to blame: a more traditional, family oriented place for a woman was envisaged by the conservative society of that era. And, of course, there was a purely physical aspect to the issue: old, pre-fly-by-wire civilian aircraft technology required considerable physical strength to control a passenger airliner in abnormal situations, such as engine failures or rudder jams, etc. Physical connectors, such as cables or torque links, used to join pilot controls directly to hydraulic jacks and then to aircraft's aerodynamic surfaces. 
With the new FBW technology taking over most airline fleets, physically demanding aspects of aircraft control became a thing of the past. Therefore, even such monsters as A380 or B748 could be turned around with a swing of a finger. Virtually no situation, normal or emergency, is likely to require physical strength to keep a troubled airplane in check. And, of course, the modern society in developed counties like US and Israel sees women as equally deserving a career of their choosing. 
And, of course, a modern pilot profession is more then ever accessible to women. The pilot salaries are on the rise (airline captain makes North of quarter million USD per annum), the pilot deficit is reaching an unprecedented high, and demand for qualified commercial pilots in North America, Asia and Middle East is creating new interest in this profession among all genders. 
In Israel, however, you can count female pilots using fingers on a single hand. Why? The issue, we believe, among other aforementioned ones, was the Israeli Air Force. It hasn't trained a single female pilot since it's inception in 1948 and until the late 90's. Since most ElAl (national airline of Israel) pilots were graduates of military training curriculums, airline pilot job was a highly unlikely possibility for Israeli women. Although things have changed a little since the 90's, that "men only flight deck" stigma still lingers in the Israeli society. 
Well, can things change, and change quickly? We believe that there has never been a better time to become an Airline pilot for an educated and driven Israeli woman, then now. Both male and female pilots are very much needed in the modern flight decks (yes, we don't call them "cockpits" any more!) and ElAl has finally started employing pilots from non-military, civilian only background. Things are looking up!
Find out more about this, and many other issues, by visiting our free seminar in Tel-Aviv this month. Registration is open now via our partner's web site:
(Article by Adi Yusuf, © 2017 AJAP.US)


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