The highly anticipated event was hosted with the collaborative support of Lisa Holland, President of Sheltair Aviation, at Sheltair TPA in Tampa International Airport on Saturday, September 25th. Girls In Aviation Day welcomed over 100 attendees and more than 40 volunteers.
With support from Project Manager Mariah Blackmon, WAI Tampa Bay Chapter's President Allison Abellaneda opened the GIAD event, followed by an inspiring ceremony of the Wesley Chapel Knights Civil Air Patrol Color Guard and a warm welcome from Lisa Holland. Attending guests experienced an inspiring sample of what general aviation has to offer. The event provided the future generation of aviators a unique opportunity to come face-to-face with aircraft and their crews. The diversified onsite display, which was the center of attention for all attendees, included two Cessna 172, a Cessna 310, two helicopters, and the Icon A5. In addition, TPA's Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting unit and TPA Police showcased a fire truck, a police vehicle, and a furry member of their K9 team.
The crews, volunteers, and sponsors provided inspiring educational activities throughout the day. Members of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), often referred to as the Hurricane Hunters, educated guests on their integral role in meteorologic forecasting while displaying their storm tracking technology equipment. Sheltair and Jetex offered giveaways sparking interest in the aviation industry, while National Aviation Academy provided a craft table for attendees to create their custom aviation-themed jewelry. A Frontier Airlines crew from Colorado also attended the venue, in addition to retired United Airlines captain Aya Konstantinou.
Providing a further commitment to women's empowerment in the aviation industry, Lisa Holland also spoke at the end of the celebration while pledging Sheltair's support to WAI, inviting guests to the next version of the venue in 2022, and thanking the GIAD sponsors who made this day possible.
"As a woman in aviation, I'm honored to be in a position where I can help inspire young women in their path of becoming the aviation industry's future," said Lisa Holland. "It is important that we continue to support upcoming generations in our communities by representing them and providing viable options. Sheltair proudly supports Women in Aviation International and we look forward to further encourage and inspire today's dreamers to be tomorrow's achievers through this partnership."
Along with Sheltair, the GIAD event at Tampa International airport was made possible with the participation of generous sponsors. Adsizzle, Air Culinaire, Alabama Skydiving Inc, Frontier, Hillsborough County Sheriff's department, Icon Aircraft, Jetex, National Aviation Academy, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Odyssey Airways, Primo's Gourmet Catering, Superior Aviation Gateway, Tampa Bay Aviation Association, Tampa Bay Aviation, Tampa General Aeromed Team, and Tampa International Airport Operations, Airport Police Department, Airport Fire Fighting & Rescue, and General Aviation Team.