Drew Steketee was president of BE A PILOT, senior vp-communications for AOPA and executive director of the Partnership for Improved Air Travel. He also headed PR and media relations for Beech, GAMA and the Airport Operators Council International.
An essay by this title recently smoked the pages of The Wall Street Journal, generating the most comments in WSJ’s online history. It was actually about “20-something’s” social and gender issues, but this and other recent news highlights demographic shifts affecting GA’s traditional market — guys!
As you know, General Aviation has always been predominantly male. The industry took some comfort when, during the 1976-79 TAKEOFF! campaign under Karen Coyle (Tripp), the female pilot population doubled to 6%. I don’t know that it has budged since, although the LSA flight school at Orlando-Apopka Airport in Florida now reports a 12% female student base. (Are the smaller, lighter LSAs the answer?) For most of GA, the easier marketing target has been (and remains) men.