World's Most Female-Pilot-Friendly Airport, Oshawa Celebrates Top International Awards

Lesley Page


On March 8, 1910 Raymonde de Laroche of France became the first woman in the world to earn a pilot licence. One hundred years later, to celebrate The Centennial of Women Licensed Pilots, pilots introduced 1,647 girls and women to the joys of flying in 29 countries on four continents. They conducted the flights in balloons, gliders, ultra lights, airplanes, floatplanes and helicopters.

Throughout the year, pilots competed for awards in four categories: Most Female-Pilot- Friendly Airport in the World, Most Dedicated Woman Pilot in the World, Most Supportive Male Pilot in the World, and Most Unusual Introductory Flight.

Oshawa came out on top, winning three awards:

1. Most female-pilot-friendly airport in the world in 2010 (airport with most nonpilot girls and women introduced to aviation in 2010) - Winner - Oshawa (CYOO), ON, CANADA

2. Most unusual introductory flight of a non-pilot girl or woman in 2010 - Winner - Clark Morawetz, Oshawa, ON, CANADA

3. Most dedicated woman pilot in the world in 2010 (woman pilot who introduced the most non-pilot girls and women to aviation in 2010) - 2nd Runner Up - Lesley Page, Oshawa, ON, CANADA, Cessna 172

On Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011, the Oshawa Aviation community celebrated their awards by throwing a big party!

More than 60 people attended the celebration, which was held at the RCAF 420 Wing building at the Oshawa Airport.

COPA Director, Paul Hayes was on hand to represent COPA National.

The Mayor of Oshawa, John Henry, presented the Airport’s trophy to the Oshawa Aviation Community, represented by:

  • Lesley Page, vice chair, First Canadian Ninety-Nines and coordinator of the Oshawa effort
  • Stephen Wilcox, the Oshawa Airport manager
  • Bruce Wood, Oshawa City Council and private pilot
  • Gord Mahaffy, captain of COPA Flight 70
  • Jim Morrison, president of the Oshawa Chapter of the RAA
  • Doug Raine, president of the 420 Wing and EAA Young Eagles Field Representative
  • Shane Hartwell, Oshawa air traffic controller
  • Cheryl Marek, Airport Advisory Council and Women in Aviation member
  • Manny Rosario, Enterprise Air Gord Mahaffy, captain of COPA Flight 70, presented Clark Morawetz with his trophy for the most unusual flight, a flight over Lake Scugog that included a marriage proposal that almost went wrong!

Clark described to the audience that after the man popped the question, the first thing the lady said was “Are you serious?” After a few tense moments, she said yes and the couple is now happily married!

Gord also presented Lesley Page with her award for the second runner up, most dedicated woman pilot.

Lesley announced a new annual event, the Women of Aviation Worldwide Week. During that week, which will be held this year from March 7-13, pilots around the world are invited to introduce more girls and women to flying and compete for similar awards.

For more information about the 2011 competitions, please visit the website

For more information about the Centennial of Women Pilots campaign and to view all the 2010 award winners, please visit their website http://centennialofwomenpilots.Com/award_winners