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Republic seeks to hire more women for aviation careers

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — There’s a growing push to get more women to fly airplanes.

The latest data from the Federal Aviation Authority estimates women account for only 8% of pilots, and careers in aviation are wide open so now is the time to fill them.

A pilot shortage is leaving the door open to women to fill those vacant spots. Republic Airways, a regional airline based in Indianapolis, and LIFT Academy in Indianapolis — LIFT stands for Leadership in Flight Training — are taking steps to give pilot hopefuls a look at what it takes to earn their wings.

In 2018, Republic created LIFT Academy, which is at Indianapolis International Airport, with the hope of educating new pilots.

Jordan Wescott finds comfort in the air. That’s because she’s been riding in planes since she was 3 months old. She’s now flying them as a Republic Airways LIFT Academy student.

“I’ve never seen a female pilot before I started flying.”

Initially taking flight was a hobby until someone told her it could be more than that. She could make it a career.

“I see more women in the profession, and not just as pilots, but as flight attendants, mechanics, in the corporate role,” Wescott said. “I think its really important to see women in those roles.”

Her journey is one Republic Airways hopes to see more often. The airline has put plans in motion to guide other women pilot hopefuls by gearing up to hold the Aviation Exploratory Night for Women.

“For anyone who has maybe thought about a career and aviation, or thought about becoming a pilot, or has questions about that, comes out to this event. You don’t need any experience,” said Paige Bova, Republic communication specialist.

A panel of pilots and industry leaders will share their paths and lay out what woman will need to know to take off on new careers.

Wescott said, “A lot of women in aviation are working to inspire generations in order to show young girls this is an opportunity for you, this is something that is attainable.”

The event is from 6-8 p.m. Thursday at Republic Airways Training Center, 5151 Exploration Drive, just south of Indianapolis International Airport.