Diverse Journeys in GA: NATA Celebrates Black History Month

In honor of Black History Month, NATA’s Conference & Events Manger, Jillian Williams interviewed 3 inspiring black women from the aviation community to ask them about their journeys in general aviation. 

See below to view interviews with Rexy Rolle, Vice President of Operations & General Counsel at Western Air, Tanya Austin, Operations Manager at the Red Tail Flight Academy, and Allison McHugh, Vice President of Safety & Quality at FEAM Aero.

Inspirational industry leader Rexy Rolle of Western Air shares her journey in aviation and offers advice for those who are getting their start.

Rexy serves as the Vice President of Operations and General Counsel at Western Air, the largest privately-owned airline in the Bahamas and one of the most successful black-owned airlines in the world.

The RedTail Flight Academy (RTFA) is developing a pipeline of diverse aviators to meet the increasing demand for US pilots and aviation professionals — all while honoring the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen’s goal to produce extraordinary aviators of color.

In the following interview, RTFA Operations Manager, Tanya Austin speaks on the Academy’s mission to diversify the skies.

Meet Alison McHugh, Vice President of Safety & Quality at FEAM AERO.

Alison dreamed about a career in aviation from her childhood days in Jamaica. She eventually moved to the U.S. to study for a career in aviation at Embry Riddle – Daytona. While she initially set her goal of being a pilot, her education and career path took her in another direction where she has found great interest, success, and upward mobility in aviation safety and maintenance. Her introduction to aviation safety began at NATA and the Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) after dear industry friend and aviation safety legend Russ Lawton recruited her as an intern for NATA and soon hired her full-time at the ACSF.

Watch NATA’s Jillian Williams interview below with Alison to learn about her start in aviation, advice for new industry entrants, and how focusing on diversity and inclusion can help address a workforce shortage.