Update – 4 March 2019
I feel both surprised and proud.
Today it was announced that the $5.3 billion Western Sydney Airport will officially become the Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport.
The campaign to rename the airport started when I presented the inaugural Nancy-Bird Walton Lecture on behalf of the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Headquarters, Montreal on Monday, 25th January, 2016.
My efforts were assisted phenomenally by Charles Curran AC who is an active philanthropist in the greatest areas of Australian life. Thank you Charles.
Thanks to the politicians that effected this change:
- the Honourable Malcolm Turnbull (Prime Minister)
- the Honourable Scott Morrison (Prime Minister)
- the Honourables: Warren Truss, Darren Chester, Barnaby Joyce and Michael McCormack (Ministers for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development).
All Australians should feel proud of this development. It is absolutely the right thing to do. Our two most iconic pilots, Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Nancy-Bird Walton, will soon and together welcome passengers to Sydney and Australia.
Original Post – 9th January 2016
International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO)
ICAO was created in 1944 to provide administration and governance for 191 UN Member States and industry groups.
ICAO is the pinnacle of aviation organisations. It was my career highlight to present to friends and representatives from organisations that include:
- IATA, Air Canada, WestJet, Air Transport Association of Canada – airlines,
- IFALPA, Air Canada Pilots Association, Retired Airline Pilots of Canada – pilots,
- RAeS, GAPAN aviation organisations,
- NASA, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Canadian Space Agency – space
- FSF safety organisations,
- FAA, EASA, CAA, CASA regulators ..
- NTSB, ATSB, BEA , ISASI accident investigators ..
- Royal Canadian Air Force,
- NASA, DARPA, ODG, McGill University– researchers,
- CAE – industry
- Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Embraer – aircraft manufacturers,
- GE, P&W, Roll-Royce engine manufacturers, and
- many more …
Nancy-Bird Walton Lecture
I presented then took questions about:
Australia Day 2016
Fortunately the 25th January in Canada was “Australia Day“, the 26th January in Australia.
ICAO’s commissioners have the highest regard for Australia. Australia has responsibility for and controls nine percent of the world’s airspace. Over 200 attendees mixed and enjoyed refreshments after the presentation.
RAeS and ICAO Honour Nancy-Bird Walton (Montreal 25 Jan 2016) (Photo Jean LaRoche)
“My God, I’m not going to fly in that. The pilot’s a woman!” (My God it’s a Woman p214)
I applaud ICAO and the RAeS for honouring Nancy-Bird Walton, one of Australia’s most iconic aviatrices. Nancy-Bird is a role model for any pilot. The “Nancy-Bird Walton” named lecture” is the second of just two named RAeS lectures at Montreal. The “Assad Kotaite Lecture” is the other, named after the Council President of ICAO (1976-2006).
Sydney Nancy-Bird Walton International Airport
Australia could follow the RAeS and ICAO’s lead and honour Nancy-Bird Walton.
I have proposed that the new Western Sydney Airport be named “Sydney Nancy-Bird Walton International Airport” (to honour a great Australian aviatrix) that would sit beside “Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport” (that honours a great Australian aviator).
The Honourable Warren Truss MP, Deputy Prime Minister of Australia and the the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development has acknowledged my proposal.
The Honourable Malcolm Turnbull MP, Prime Minister of Australia is aware of my proposal.
Why am I doing this?
- Many airports are named after famous people,
- Nancy-Bird’s name lives on as a proud part of our heritage,
- It’s time Australia recognised a role model aviatrix
- Nancy-Bird Walton and Charles Kingsford Smith airports should be situated side-by-side, and
- Because of what Nancy-Bird stated herself:
“No matter how foolish, it is not the things in life that you do, but the things that you don’t do, that you regret” (My God it’s a Woman p174)