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Adventia in the Feminine

Since its beginnings as the Superior Flight School in Salamanca until today, Adventia, European College of Aeronautics has always played a prominent role in incorporating women into the scheduled air transport sector. Now, just days before the celebration of International Women’s Day, the school again made history whenthe Chief Flight Instructor, Diana Rodriguez, was the first female pilot to use Google Glass applications in flight.

Just asAdventia has become a benchmark in Europe in commercial pilot training, its background also allows us to understand how difficult the incorporation of women into the commercial air transport sector has been, a process which historically in Spain has been slow and late compared to other European countries or even the U.S.

So, in the mid-sixties, Bettina Kadner comes to the Superior Flight School in Salamanca. She managed to overcome the resistance of the Air Ministry and succeeded inamending the regulations to become the first woman to be at the controls of a commercial airliner. Bettina Kadner was not satisfied with just obtaining a pilot’s license, and went on breaking prejudices to become in 1998 the first woman captain of a jetin Spain and the second in Europe.

A path which has recently been followed by Marta Pérez-Aranda, born in Salamanca, who trained in the National Aeronautical School in Salamanca and obtained her licence in 1984. Marta has just become the first woman captain to fly transoceanic flights in Iberia.

Heir to this tradition, when Adventia got under way, the school decided to hire women and therefore appointed three female instructors, ElizabetOrmazabal, Loreto Escribano and Violeta Menéndez Pérez Tornero. Since then the School has continued to keep women in the roster of instructors, which also includes Diana Rodriguez Grande, as Chief Flight Instructor. And also to increase the female presence in the classrooms, reaching this year 14% of the total number of studentsat the school.

Although years have gone by, and today it has ceased to be a novelty to hirefemale pilots in almost all airlines, the number of women is still low. As such, it should be noted that only 3% of the pilots belonging to the Spanish Association of Commercial Aviation Pilots are women.

The future of commercial aviation will continue “speaking in the feminine” driven by the implementation of new courses such as the Degree inCommercial Airline Pilot Studies and Air Operations, incorporating new professional opportunities for our pilots.