Iskwew Air sets up Aircraft Maintenance Organisation arm to increase presence of women in aviation and aerospace

Iskwew Air — a mem­ber of the Cana­di­an Advanced Air Mobil­i­ty Con­sor­tium (CAAM) — has launched its Air­craft Main­te­nance Organ­i­sa­tion (AMO) wing of the com­pa­ny to help increase the rep­re­sen­ta­tion of women in avi­a­tion and aero­space.

The air­line, which oper­ates a twin engine PA31 Piper Nava­jo Chief­tain air­plane — pro­vides 24-hour char­ter ser­vices to com­mu­ni­ties around the province of British Colum­bia from its base at Van­cou­ver Inter­na­tion­al Air­port. Led by Teara Fras­er — the first indige­nous woman in Cana­da to set up and own an air­line — Iskwew Air esti­mates that 2.8 per cent of air­craft main­te­nance engi­neers are women and less than 0.5 per cent are women of colour.

The launch date of its AMO — March 11th — was cho­sen to reflect the 50th anniver­sary of Mau­reen Rout­ledge, who became the first woman in Cana­da to be licensed as an air­craft main­te­nance engi­neer.

Fras­er said: “Togeth­er in this inno­v­a­tive space we will rema­tri­ate, reimag­ine, and rebuild our air trans­porta­tion sys­tem — cen­ter­ing equi­ty, resilience, and sus­tain­abil­i­ty. We plan to both fly them and fix them!”

Iskwew Air’s AMO will be led by Alisha Soh­paul, who is a licensed M1 & M2 Air­craft Main­te­nance Engi­neer. Speak­ing at the com­pa­ny’s launch event, she said: “It was such an emo­tion­al moment for me when I passed my exam. At that moment, we had just opened the door for so many women who thought they could not hold the same title. When peo­ple see some­one who looks like them, it can real­ly help realise they can do this too.

“Air­craft main­te­nance is not a com­mon job that you hear about at your aver­age career fair. It’s so impor­tant to me that I not only rep­re­sent women in my field, but encour­age young females to pur­sue careers in avi­a­tion. Some of my best mem­o­ries have been work­ing along­side oth­er female air­craft engi­neers, because we’re able to sup­port one anoth­er and relate to each oth­er’s dai­ly work­place issues.

“What we’re doing today is cre­at­ing a safe space for women in avi­a­tion which is long over­due, and this is just the begin­ning. I’m tru­ly hon­oured to be paving this path with Teara and redefin­ing the avi­a­tion indus­try.”

The new AMO aims to posi­tion itself as a tra­di­tion­al main­te­nance provider and build a more sus­tain­able future for the avi­a­tion indus­try by lead­ing the way with Advanced Air Mobil­i­ty (AAM) tech­nol­o­gy.

As a CAAM mem­ber, Iskwew Air is help­ing to build an ecosys­tem of nation­al col­lab­o­ra­tion towards a sus­tain­able, equi­table and prof­itable Advanced Air Mobil­i­ty indus­try in Cana­da. CAAM goals include zero emis­sions from Advanced Air Mobil­i­ty oper­a­tions in Cana­da, 40 bil­lion rev­enue pas­sen­ger kilo­me­tres per year by 2040 and 40 mil­lion freight tonne kilo­me­tres per year by 2040.

CAAM will be hold­ing its next Dig­i­tal Open House this Thurs­day, March 18th from 9.30am PT/12.30pm ET.

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Jason Pritchard

Jason Pritchard is the Editor of eVTOL Insights. He holds a BA from Leicester's De Montfort University and has worked in Journalism and Public Relations for more than a decade. Outside of work, Jason enjoys playing and watching football and golf. He also has a keen interest in Ancient Egypt.

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