Air Canada announced earlier this week that it was creating the Captain Judy Cameron Scholarship, thereby honouring their first female pilot. The goal of the scholarship is to help other young women follow in her footsteps.

“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 senior vice-president Arielle Meloul-Wechsler said in a statement timed to coincide with the Elsie MacGill Award Gala held last weekend in Toronto.

“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.”

It was in 1978 when, at the age of 23, Cameron was hired by Air Canada after graduating from the Aviation Technology Program at British Columbia’s Selkirk College three years earlier. She first became a captain for Air Canada in 1997 and in 2010 Cameron became the first female captain in Canada of a Boeing 777.

Cameron, who is now retired, stated, “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.”

Starting November 1, 2019, applications for the scholarship will be accepted. Candidates being targeted are women who are pursuing an aviation career in non-traditional roles, such as commercial pilots or aircraft maintenance engineers.

Photo courtesy of Air Canada