Black Aviation Airline Pioneers (BAAP), began in 2011, but was officially established in 2013. Our purpose is to maintain fraternal relationships between aviation pioneers from years past, and to encourage minorities and women to seek career opportunities in aviation. BAAP’s primary objective is to promote public understanding of the numerous accomplishments and contributions of African Americans and other minorities in the field of aviation.
We provide year-round advice, assistance and resources to assist colleges, universities, military academies and organizations such as AABI, BPA, NBCFAE, NAI, OBAP, and TAI in the field of aeronautics. Our intent is to complement, rather than compete with or replace the efforts of these illustrious organizations. BAAP also offers educational outreach assistance to educators, aviation industry members and young people nationally and internationally.
The percentages of blacks and other minorities among this nation’s airline pilots are extremely low. Maintaining, let alone increasing, even these percentages will be a formidable challenge as most “first generation” minority pilots have retired from the industry. The progression into retirement is nothing new in the industry, but for black airline pilots it only began in the mid 1990s. This is a trend that will accelerate as the “bubble” of minority and women pilots hired in the 1990s reach retirement age in the 2020s.
In addition to the percentages being acknowledged to be extremely low, current, meaningful data is almost impossible to locate. According to a 1997 National Academies report entitled, “Taking Flight: Education and Training for Aviation Careers,” stated that 92 percent of U.S. airline pilots in 1990 were white males, compared with only 43 percent in the entire labor force. That same report stated that less than 2 percent of U.S. airline pilots were black and less than 3 percent were Hispanic. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, of the nearly 600,000 active pilots in the United States, approximately 6 percent are women and only 3 percent are ATP rated.