The BWPA is a membership organisation that exists to support women who fly or who are learning to fly, and to encourage participation in aviation by women who have yet to try it. Members are of all ages, experience and backgrounds but share a common passion.
We are a non-profit making association run by volunteers who are enthusiastic and committed to our aim of promoting and supporting women in aviation. Members of the BWPA are involved in all areas of aviation, including commercial flying, recreational flying, instructing, air traffic control and engineering.
Formed in 1955, the BWPA came into being ten years after World War II Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) women pilots had been thanked for their services to their country but told to go back to their kitchens. This was a time when women were allowed to work, but only in jobs deemed appropriate for the fairer sex, and were expected to give up work to look after home and husband upon marriage.
The BWPA’s aims are:
- The promotion of the training and employment of women in aviation, and the promotion of practical schemes to assist women to gain air licences.
- To act as advisers to women on the training required and the openings available for women in aviation.
- To promote and encourage collaboration between members of the Association and to enable women in aviation to meet and exchange knowledge of mutual interest and to express the collective opinion of its members.
- To act as promoters of news, developments and articles which may assist the development of interest in aviation amongst women.
The result is a dynamic, responsive organisation of like-minded people.
- Encourage women to fly
- Attend events for young people to raise awareness of careers in aviation and to raise aspirations of young women and girls
- Provide help through scholarships and advice, to women wanting a career in aviation
- Present awards for recognised achievements of women in aviation
- Work with like minded organisations
- Arrange flying weekends in the UK and abroad
- Arrange group visits to places of interest
- Meet at local regional groups & national events
- Voice the opinions of women in aviation
- Run training courses
- Publish newsletters and website articles.
Today there are many more women flying professionally but with only around 5% of the UK pilot workforce being female and current estimates put the female GA pilot population in the UK at 6%, there is obviously much room for improvement.
We are involved in several initiatives and schemes to raise awareness of both aviation careers and STEM subjects for females and to encourage women to fly for recreation. Some of this work involves working with other aviation organisations and airlines.
We also aim to encourage existing female pilots to join the BWPA in order to continue our work with young people and to fund our scholarships, events and outreach work.