A Moose Jaw woman who’s reached the pinnacle of her airline career says there’s plenty of room in Canada’s flight decks for women. Captain Denise Walters commands Boeing 777s for Air Canada and is happy to be a role model for future female aviators. “That’s part of the reason why we’re here…to inspire any young women or girls who feel like they might have an aptitude for aviation,” she told CTV News.

Walters grew up in Moose Jaw and said she caught the flying bug early. “I would rake up leaves and jump off the garage roof and try and make flying contraptions when I was small,” Walters said on Monday. “I have no idea where it came from. I’ve just always wanted to fly.”

She now flies Air Canada’s biggest aircraft all over the world and even though she’s reached the top, she’s always learning. “It’s a huge responsibility and I take it very seriously,” she said. “I study a lot on my own time at home just to stay current on everything because there’s so much you have to know all the time.

Walters’ success has already inspired other women, including Regina Flying Club General Manager Audrey Kahovec. “I remember when I got the fly bug, my friend telling me, ‘Well my aunty, she’s a pilot and she works at Air Canada,’ and I remember thinking to myself, wow, I’m not going to be the first woman doing this,” she said. “There are other women that are in this industry, and for me, that was inspirational.”

Photos credit: CTV News Regina