Nav Canada Says Not Enough Women Are Working With It As Air Traffic Controllers

Nav Canada has said that an insufficient number of women are working with it as air traffic controllers (ATCs).

The job of an ATC is considered one of the most stressful among all jobs. An ATC ensures that aircrafts takeoff and land safely at an airport without crossing paths of one another. The field of ATC, however, largely remains dominated by men, and according to Nav Canada, it is still a mystery why women are not showing much interest in this job that offers an attractive salary while requiring only secondary education. In Montreal, the percentage of women working as ATC with Nav Canada is less than 25%.

Nav Canada says it is now trying to rectify the situation with the help of Elevate network, whose volunteers are promoting the aviation profession among women.

“It’s a matter of educating women to the fact that it’s a job out there that is available to them, about the possibility of all these great jobs that are out there,” said Assil Bedewi, an ATC at the NAV Canada control center in Montreal.

On March 2, Nav Canada and Elevate offered reporters and school-aged children a tour of the ATC building near Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau airport. This building manages the entire airspace of Quebec, as well as parts of Nunavut and Eastern Ontario.

Bedewi said her job becomes stressful at times when weather is bad or when a plane experiences some mechanical problems.

“At certain point it becomes automatic, and you’ve learned to have this kind of active listening to what’s going on around you,” Bedewi said.

“Oftentimes, you don’t even realize you’ve just taken a message from a supervisor while you’re still doing the job.”

Lyne Moreau, the general manager of the Montreal Flight Information Region said: “One thing is, it’s not a well-known job, people don’t know … what the job is, what an air traffic controller does.”

According to Moreau, more awareness about aviation careers can help attract more women to ATC field.

About Nav Canada

Headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, Nav Canada is a private company that controls Canada’s civil air navigation service (ANS). This not-for-profit corporation employs about 1,900 ATCs, 650 flight service specialists, and 700 technologists. The company has been controlling Canadian air transport since November 1, 1996, and manages approximately 12 million aircraft movements a year. Nav Canada is currently the second-largest air navigation service provider in the world by traffic volume. Nav Canada’s facilities include airport control towers, area control centers, flight service stations, flight information centers, and Community Aerodrome Radio Stations.

[Featured Image by Pixabay]