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According to the Federal Aviation Administration’s Civil Airmen Statistics, the number of women who hold an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) Certificate remains low. The numbers of Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and other minoritized individuals remain challenging to identify. Given these numbers, the response on the part of the aviation industry has been to leverage marketing campaigns, particularly around the affinity months of February, March, and June (Black History, Women’s History, and Pride month) to perform their support with articles and initiatives like “the first all LGBTQ flight crew,” or the first “Black female captain.” Despite this work, aviation remains a challenging industry to enter. This position paper asserts that in order for the aviation industry to truly move forward in its diversity and inclusion efforts, then conscientious reflection on the experiences of minoritized individuals is necessary. To do that, we can look to Black feminist and anti-racist scholarship to better understand the ways in which it is imperative that aviation move beyond representation; towards the kind of transformational change that would enhance the industry.
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