Women encouraged to take easyJet aptitude tests in bid to have more female pilots

WATCH: ITV Meridian's Sally Simmonds has been to meet two pilots and try the controls of a simulator at their training base in Crawley.

The UK's biggest airline, easyJet, is launching a new campaign to encourage more female pilots and first officers into the aviation industry.

Fewer than 10% are currently women and more than half of British adults still believe a pilot is a job for a man.

The airline, which is Gatwick's biggest, has rolled out two online tests so more people can 'find their wings'.

The new aptitude tests assess some of the key skills needed to become an airline pilot and has been designed to encourage more people to consider the career.

Anyone can take the test, as they aim to attract 200 more to the profession this spring.

It's the first time the airline has run such a recruitment campaign as they aim to dispel preconceived ideas about the qualifications needed on the flight deck.

The two online tests are for sense of direction and reaction speed.

The company employs 4000 pilots of which 300 are women, which is about 7.5%. That's slightly higher than the British average of 6.5% but the industry is keen to diversify.

Qualifying to be a pilot takes about two years including ground school training, simulator flying, single engine flying and supervised flying and pilots retrain every 6 months.

easyJet Captain Sarah Ackerley, said: "Tackling gender stereotyping within aviation has been a long-standing mission for easyJet and I’m excited to be part of this latest campaign that’s allowing people to get a real insight into what skills are really important to do this job, and encourage more women into the profession.

"It’s an immensely rewarding career that I’m proud to champion and I hope by more people taking our new interactive test, they can challenge themselves to discover a talent they never knew they had and I hope to see them flying with us in the future."

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