INDIANAPOLIS — Boeing has projected the aviation industry will need 612,000 new pilots over the next 20 years and Republic Airways is looking to inspire the next generation of pilots to take flight.
Specifically, it hopes to encourage more women to join the aviation industry.
"Historically it has been a male-dominated industry and we are trying to change that,” Paige Bova, a communications specialist for Republic Airways, said. “We want to bring everybody in because there is a place for everyone in aviation. “
Republic Airways says it created Lift Academy to help address the looming pilot shortage in 2018. To become a pilot, you don’t have to have any flight experience, just the will to learn.
“As a flight attendant that’s what I thought the limit was,” Krista Sain-Dic, a flight instructor at Lift Academy, said. “When I became a flight attendant and I realized hey maybe I can continue on and go to the front of the cockpit.”
That’s exactly what Saint-Dic is doing. She said she always liked planes as a kid and now she has big goals for her career in aviation.
“In five years, I would like to be a captain so that’s my goal, “ Saint-Dic said with a smile on her face.
As she is working towards that goal, she says there is one thing that makes her love aviation even more than she already does.
“The most life-changing part about it is that I get to inspire younger children and young women,” Saint-Dic said. “My family is excited for me my family is happy.”
To recognize women’s history month Republic Airways is holding an event called Aviation Exploratory Night for Women. It will feature female pilots and industry leaders who will discuss what their experience in the aviation industry is like.
Saint-Dic is going to be one of the women on the panel. She has a message for women who are might be interested in the industry.
“It’s worth it. It’s fun, it’s challenging and every single day we get to see different places around the country sometimes around the world,” Saint-Dic said. “You will not regret it if you give this a shot. “
The Aviation Exploratory Night for Women will take place from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, March 24 at 5151 Exploration Drive. To register for the event, click here.