Captain Louise Pole has been appointed President of the Australia Federation of Air Pilots, marking the first time in the federation’s 80 years that a woman has held the job.
Pole will oversee the body which is the professional association representing 4700 commercial pilots in Australia.
Pole was elected to the position at the AFAP’s recent annual convention on the Sunshine Coast.
Women make up just 3 per cent of commercial airline pilots at major Australian airlines, a number Pole has advocated to increase, especially as convenor of the AFAP’s Women’s Network, which has seen AFAP’s female membership grow 300% since it was created in 2010. She recently told the Sydney Morning Herald that “this is a very good time for women to choose becoming a pilot as their career.”
Both Qantas and Virgin Australia have recently announced initiatives to boost the number of female pilots in their graduate and ‘future pilot” programs.
“I am very much looking forward to leading the team and bringing my experience and expertise to champion the highest possible standards of aviation safety for our members,” Pole said on her appointment.
“I am also keen to advocate for our members on other issues that I am passionate about, such as developing leadership capability, supporting people at every stage of their piloting career and leading initiatives that enable women pilots to train and join the workplace.”