Published in Midwest Flyer – October/November 2020 issue
DAYTON, OHIO – U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao has appointed National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) President and CEO Amy Spowart to the newly-formed “Women in Aviation Advisory Board” (WIAAB), which was established on October 3, 2019, under the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018.
Spowart is one of 30 aviation leaders chosen to develop strategies to encourage women and girls to enter aviation fields. Recommendations will then be presented to FAA Administrator Steve Dickson for consideration.
WIAAB will focus on analyzing industry trends; coordinating efforts among airlines, nonprofit organizations, and aviation and engineering associations to facilitate support for women pursuing aviation careers; expanding scholarship opportunities; and enhancing training, mentorship, education and outreach programs for women interested in aviation careers.
Spowart has been a part of NAHF for over 20 years in various capacities and has been the executive in charge for almost 5 years. She has led NAHF from a locally-focused aviation history museum, to a nationally recognized brand.
“I am honored to be a part of this dynamic group of industry leaders,” said Spowart, whose role at NAHF includes funding, planning, and transitioning the current NAHF Learning Center to a state-of-the-art Heritage Hall and Education Center. The purpose of NAHF is to emphasize aerospace science, technology, art, engineering, and math focusing on under-served and non-traditional demographics. “The timing of the WIAAB and what we are doing at NAHF could not be better. It is our mission, and my focus, to elevate our current physical space to emphasize work force development, especially in middle-school age children. To this end, attracting girls and women to aviation is purposeful and intentional.”
Secretary Chao shared in her statement announcing the creation of WIAAB: “Our nation is facing a shortage of pilots and aviation professionals. There are great opportunities in this sector and we want to encourage more women to enter these exciting professions.” Former U.S. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson will serve as the chair of the board.
The National Aviation Hall of Fame was formed through an Act of Congress in 1964 and is dedicated to honoring America’s aerospace pioneers to promote their vision, innovation, skill and courage to further the nation’s aerospace legacy. NAHF and its Heritage Hall & Education Center are located in Dayton, Ohio.