Antiguan pilot urges women to become aviators

Zara Razzaq, who has been certified as a commercial pilot in the United States of America, was recently recognised by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for meeting “the high educational, licensing and medical standards established by the body.”

But Razzaq said the aviation industry, even in Antigua & Barbuda, is still dominated by males.

“It’s not easy being a woman in aviation, and a young, black woman from a small island at that,” she said. “I want to let young women know that you have to stay focused, be driven and want it.”

The pilot, who is now certified to fly dual engine aircraft, said despite her recent honours, she will not be returning to the Caribbean to fly any time soon. However, she wishes to now become a flight instructor.

Razzaq, who was a graduate of Pares Secondary School, now hopes her story will inspire other young women here to consider careers in aviation.

“For me, it’s a focus of empowering younger women to go after what they want and be patient because many obstacles are going to thrown at them to overcome in this field,” she said. “It’s not forbidden to dream and just surround one’s self with positive and encouraging people.”

The 31 year old, who grew up in the village of Newfield, said despite the high cost of training as a pilot, that should not be a deterrent for any individual hoping to become a pilot.

Razzaq, who is now stationed at Republic Airport in Farmingdale, Long Island, won the Miss Antigua Inter-Continental title in 2001 and Miss Antigua World in 2002.







 

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