"We are thrilled to establish the Captain Judy Cameron Scholarship as a tribute to Judy's pioneering leadership and her tremendous professional achievements which are incredibly inspiring to all women in aviation. Air Canada has long been recognized as a company which champions equal opportunities for all qualified people. There are no glass ceilings here. Capable women with the required skills and knowledge fly high at Air Canada, working as pilots flying the most sophisticated aircraft globally, as engineers maintaining technologically advanced airplanes and systems, and in specialized, multidisciplinary airline operations. Women hold C-suite, executive and senior management roles across our airline. We are encouraging the next generation of girls and young women to pursue their aviation dreams and to consider exciting and rewarding careers in non-traditional professions, " said Arielle Meloul-Wechsler, Senior Vice President, People, Culture and Communications at Air Canada.
"I am incredibly honoured that Air Canada has named this scholarship after me. When I was learning to fly in 1973, my single mother had limited resources, but she believed in me and encouraged me to pursue my dream. I had a wonderful career as an Air Canada pilot. This scholarship will help other women who might be held back for financial reasons, to pursue their dreams," Captain Judy Cameron said.
Judy Cameron became the first female pilot hired by Air Canada, Canada's largest airline, in April 1978 at the age of 23. She was the first woman to graduate from Selkirk College's Aviation Technology Program in 1975. Throughout her flying career of 40 years and over 23,000 hours, she has flown the DC-3, Twin Otter, Hawker Siddeley 748, DC-9, Lockheed 1011, Airbus 320, Boeing 767 and Boeing 777 to the far corners of the world. She became a captain in 1997 and in 2010, she became the first female captain in Canada of a Boeing 777, the largest aircraft in Air Canada's fleet. She retired in 2015, received the Elsie MacGill Northern Lights award in the Flight Operations category that year, and in 2016 she was chosen by the 99s (International Organization of Women Pilots) to be on its Canadian postage stamp.
Air Canada has committed to awarding $20,000 per year for three years for the scholarship. The Captain Judy Cameron scholarship targets young women in pursuit of non-traditional aviation careers as commercial pilots or aircraft maintenance engineers who may not have the financial means to do so.
Scholarship applications will be accepted as of November 1, 2019. It will be open to all women who are Canadian citizens who have been accepted, are enrolled or are considering a post-secondary aviation flight program or aircraft repair and maintenance program.