Vermont Technical College has launched a provisional chapter of Women in Aviation International, in partnership with Beta Technologies and Vermont Flight Academy, to provide a professional networking space to students and graduates of its Professional Pilot Technology Program. 

The Vermont chapter is open to anyone interested in the field of aviation, from high school students to professionals in roles ranging from pilots to flight instructors, aeronautical mechanics, and aeronautical engineers.

“We are excited to open up more opportunities for women looking to pursue a career in the airline industry,” said Robin Guillian, program director for the Professional Pilot Technology Program at Vermont Tech and a former airline pilot. 

“Now, if you are a Vermont girl into airplanes and you want to fly with a woman, you can find a connection to do that.”

Willa Clark, team member at BETA Technologies and founding member of the chapter, said: “Flying helps develop a really meaningful skill set, whether it’s for growing confidence, having fun, or building a career.

“At BETA, we always try to create new opportunities, so it’s exciting to be part of creating this chapter to encourage more women to pursue aviation.”

The Vermont chapter will provide mentoring, scholarships, professional development opportunities, and networking events in-person and virtually, with a membership cost of $35 for students, $45 for other members, and chapter dues of $15. 

The chapter is planning its first social gathering at a hangar space in the spring of 2022 and has plans to attend a national conference and upcoming air shows.

Vermont Tech has brought in an aviation simulator for many events, such as a Women in Aviation Week, hosted a flight simulator experience for sixth graders, an aero camp, and partnered with Burlington High School to host a 10-day aviation immersion experience for high school students.

Vermont Technical College has graduated 47 individuals from the Professional Pilot Technology Program since its inception in 2016, six of whom identify as women, with students who graduate from the program typically being hired as airline pilots within six months of graduation. 

Last week, BETA Technologies raised $375 million in an oversubscribed Series B financing round, led by TPG Rise Climate and Fidelity Management & Research Company.

This funding will support the advancement of BETA’s integrated electric aviation system, including its zero emissions aircraft, electric propulsion systems and its nationwide multimodal charging infrastructure.

In March, two US Air Force pilots flew BETA Technologies’ ALIA eVTOL aircraft in what is described as the first-ever manned demo flight with an Agility Prime partner at BETA’s hangar and testing facility in Plattsburgh, New York – located 35 miles from its South Burlington, Vermont headquarters.