Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada, on Dec. 29, 2021, named Captain Judy Cameron as one of the newest appointees to the Order of Canada. Cameron became the first female pilot hired by Air Canada in April 1978 at the age of 23. In 2019, Air Canada established the Captain Judy Cameron Scholarship in honour of its first female pilot.
“On behalf of everyone at Air Canada, we salute and applaud Judy on receiving Canada’s highest honour that recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation, and enriching the lives of others while making a difference to this country,” said Arielle Meloul-Wechsler, Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer and Public Affairs. “Judy has been a trailblazer throughout her entire career, and she continues to be a tremendous ambassador, tireless mentor and inspiration to the next generation of female pilots.”
Over her flying career of 40 years and more than 23,000 hours, Cameron has flown the DC-3, Twin Otter, Hawker Siddeley 748, DC-9, Lockheed 1011, Airbus 320, Boeing 767 and Boeing 777. She became a captain in 1997 and, in 2010, she became the first female captain in Canada of a Boeing 777, the largest aircraft in Air Canada’s fleet.
Cameron retired in 2015 and received the Elsie MacGill Northern Lights award in the Flight Operations category that year. Today, Cameron continues her volunteer work mentoring and supporting the next generation of female pilots with the Northern Lights Aero Foundation.
To date, eight Captain Judy Cameron Scholarship have been distributed to help young women pursue professional aviation careers as commercial pilots or aircraft maintenance engineers.