Monday, February 20, 2017

March 2-4, 2017 marks 28th annual Women in Aviation International Conference

With a little more than a week to go before the start of Women in Aviation International’s 28th Annual Conference, all systems are go for an exciting and action-filled event. This year’s conference is scheduled for March 2-4, 2017, at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

“Every conference, we like to highlight our various activities ranging from our keynote speakers to our special luncheon and banquet events, in addition to dozens of education sessions,” says WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian. “This year we’ve organized our education sessions by relevant subject tracks to make it easier for our attendees of varying interests to plan their time and get the most information they can during the WAI Conference.”

Since safety is the goal of all aviation operations, a new education session this year is “A Conversation on Safety Culture” which includes a panel discussion featuring Greg Feith, former NTSB member and current NBC safety analyst; Duane Futch, former head of Walmart’s flight department; and Wally Funk, who is not only one of the Mercury 13, but the first female air safety investigator for the NTSB, and the first female FAA safety inspector. The three experts will lead a discussion on cockpit resource management, as well as on compliance and governance issues faced by pilots and flight departments.

The 2017 conference has reached out beyond WAI membership to the greater Orlando community with two events open to the public.

Individuals interested in learning to fly may attend a free roundtable discussion with John and Martha King and area certified flight instructors. This event is scheduled for Saturday, March 4 from 10:30 am to 12:15 pm at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. There is no cost for this session, and online registration is easy at Those individuals who participate will have access to WAI’s exhibit hall and be entered into a drawing for a $500 flight training scholarship.

Girls in Aviaion Day Orlando, also scheduled for Saturday, is an ongoing program to interest girls ages 8 to 17 in the lifestyle and career advantages in the aviation industry. This all-day event, also held at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, includes many fun, hands-on activities, including three activity stations staffed by the Association of Women in Aviation Maintenance, a career panel discussion featuring fixed- and rotary-wing pilots, flight attendants, aircraft mechanics, air traffic controllers, and representatives from airports, drone operations, military, and special guest Dr. Yvonne Cagle, a NASA astronaut and flight surgeon. The luncheon speaker is World Aerobatic Champion Patty Wagstaff.   With participants from Orlando area schools, Girl Scout troops and the Orange County (Florida) Parks and Recreation Department, a capacity crowd is expected, so advanced registration at is recommended.  The cost to participate in Girls in Aviation Day Orlando is $10 a girl (which includes lunch). Girls must be accompanied by an adult. Chaperones and parents are invited to take part in lunch for $10 per person.

A complete 2017 Conference program may be viewed at  

MEDIA:  You’re invited to attend!

For general information for local media:

For media credentials:

On site media room:  Yucatan 3, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

On site media liaison:

Kelly Murphy, Director of Communications for Women in Aviation International

Cellphone: 703-967-8113

Benefits of a WAI Membership

WAI members seek to inspire and stand for encouragement, continued education, and a whole lot of fun! If you’re a lover of all things aviation and aerospace, and enjoy sharing your passion with others, we’d love to have you! Membership includes job search opportunities, scholarship opportunities, access to mentors in your industry, and much more.

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