Air Canada and CAE Celebrate Fifth Anniversary of the Captain Judy Cameron Scholarship; 2024 Applications now Open

Air Canada and CAE, two Montreal-based global aviation companies, today marked the fifth anniversary of the Captain Judy Cameron Scholarship and announced that applications for the 2024 edition of the Scholarship are now open.

Up to eight young Canadian women studying to become commercial pilots or aircraft maintenance engineers will be awarded scholarships to pursue their training in 2024. Of the eight, four recipients training to be commercial pilots will join the CAE Women in Flight program as ambassadors.

“As this scholarship goes into its fifth year, it is incredibly gratifying to see the accomplishments of previous recipients. These young women have realized their dreams and are soaring high in all regions of Canada. From the cockpit of a 737 to a flight instructor job, these scholarship recipients are wonderful role models. I am so proud of Air Canada and CAE’s support for Canadian women in aviation,” said Judy Cameron, Boeing 777 Captain at Air Canada (retired), and Director, Northern Lights Aero Foundation.

“It makes me, and everyone at Air Canada, extremely proud to see the success of many of our past recipients of the Captain Judy Cameron Scholarship. Already, some have achieved their goals of becoming commercial pilots or Aircraft Maintenance Engineers and I look forward to seeing their careers progress. And the future is bright not only for them, but the next group of recipients as we celebrate the fifth anniversary of this wonderful scholarship named after Air Canada’s first female pilot. Congratulations to all,” said Murray Strom, Senior Vice President, Flight Operations and Maintenance at Air Canada.

“We are proud to help fund the training of our four Women in Flight ambassadors and look forward to seeing all eight scholarship recipients follow in Captain Judy Cameron’s footsteps and pursue a career in aviation at a critical time. CAE forecasts a need for 63,000 commercial pilots in North America over the next 10 years, so we have to broaden the appeal of a career in aviation and support underrepresented groups, including women, who currently represent only five percent of pilots. Not only will these deserving recipients have the chance to follow their chosen career paths, but they will also become role models to the young women who will become the next generation of aviation professionals,” said Michel Azar-Hmouda, CAE’s Division President, Commercial Aviation Training.

The annual Captain Judy Cameron Scholarships, established in honour of Air Canada’s first female pilot to help foster the next generation of women following in her trailblazing footsteps, are awarded in conjunction with the Northern Lights Aero Foundation.

The Captain Judy Cameron scholarships were launched in 2019 and initially awarded to four recipients. Since 2023, Air Canada and CAE have joined forces to double the number of recipients and award eight scholarships to deserving women.

Scholarship applications open on Nov. 1, 2023 here.

About Judy Cameron

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. Today, Captain Cameron continues her volunteer work mentoring and supporting the next generation of female pilots with the Northern Lights Aero Foundation.

Air Canada proudly launched the Captain Judy Cameron Scholarship in her honour in 2019.

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