Dreams Soar is the brainchild of Shaesta Waiz, Afghanistan’s first female civilian pilot.
With support provided through ICAO’s Next Generation Aviation Professionals programme, Shaesta will undertake a solo round-the-world flight this year in her Beechcraft Bonanza aircraft, travelling the globe to raise awareness for greater global access to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education for women and youth.
Departing from Florida beginning on 15 May, she will fly through 28 stops on five continents, including a week of outreach in Montreal with ICAO and other local aviation partners.
Ensuring women have an equal opportunity to pursue careers in aviation is crucial to ensuring that the global civil aviation network has access to sufficient human resources to sustainably manage the tremendous growth forecast over coming years. And progress on gender equity in aviation supports the achievement of Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals 4 and 5, which are directly related to women’s empowerment. This, as well as how well Dreams Soar parallels the bold and adventurous spirit at the heart of all of air travel, are big reasons why ICAO is supporting the “Dreams Soar” project that aims to raise awareness of these important issues.
“I have a very strong passion for aviation that I want to share. But it’s more than that. I want to show women that they can succeed in anything – including flying around the world,” Shaesta has remarked. “My aviation dreams have had a huge impact in making me the pilot and the woman I am today, and I’m very grateful for ICAO’s recognition and support as I embark on this incredible voyage for STEM.”
A video feed to follow her progress will soon be available on this page, pending technical capacities.