Captain Shaesta Waiz following her landing in Montreal yesterday. She is here, over International Women's Day, to gain the support of ICAO members for her upcoming round-the-world solo flight.

ICAO hosts Captain Shaesta Waiz in advance of solo flight around the world


ICAO, the International Civil Aviation Organization, based in Montreal, welcomed Captain Shaesta Waiz yesterday. Described as “the first civilian female pilot from Afghanistan”, Waiz was a year-old when her family left the refugee camp that had become home, in Afghanistan. She grew up in California, and attended Embry-Riddle, an aeronautical university, in Daytona, Beach, Florida.

“the first civilian female pilot from Afghanistan”


Waiz, who persevered and worked hard for scholarships to pursue her dream, is now an ambassador for her alma mater. In a program she initiated, to help increase the participation of women in the aviation industry and the STEM fields, she is embarking on a solo-flight to broaden the reach, and encounter young women around the world.

It was not until she faced her own fear of flying, following high school graduation, that the idea of flight even occured to Waiz. A flight from California to Florida for a vacation won her over. Upon landing her only desire was to find out how she could learn to fly.

33 different stops across 18 countries in 5 continents

What may be the journey of a lifetime, begins on June 2nd. Captain Shaesta Waiz, who will turn 29 during the adventure, will be the youngest woman to complete a round-the-world solo flight. She will land in 33 cities, in 18 countries, on 5 continents. She wants to demonstrate to young women, what is possible with determination. And it won’t be hard for her to convey her enthusiasm for the world of aviation. Her current visit to Montreal is to arrange landings and meetings with the ICAO members from all her ports of call.

A homecoming just after Ramadan in Kabul

Captain Waisz will be welcomed and hosted for four days by the UN in Kabul. Her father will also be there at the time, and all the family she has yet to meet. Her arrival is scheduled to coincide with the Eid festivities following Ramadan, so it is sure to be an amazing welcome!

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9 comments on “ICAO hosts Captain Shaesta Waiz in advance of solo flight around the world
  1. Repeca says:

    U offer an excellent full service, reliable, high quality, with international standards of flights.I am glad to visit here.I am pilot and also give training for flight plans.Thanks.

  2. Dave Scott says:

    I think the reason they are making such a big deal out of this has little to do with what is going on in the U.S. or Canada. A young woman of any ethnicity, race or religion can become a professional pilot here. In the middle east and Muslim culture generally, that is not the case. I think she is trying to give hope to women in Afghanistan and other Muslim countries where women are less than second class citizen status.

  3. Ted Rhoads says:

    Right On….I have a daughter that is very interested in flying and you are a GREAT inspiration ! I hope you keep the world up with the details of your trip. Good Luck and smooth air !!

  4. Charles King says:

    You go girl! What a great feat.

  5. Bill says:

    Looks like she is flying a Mooney! I have 2000 hours in one and it proved itself every time. Best of wishes for success.

  6. sam tomlin says:

    I am an ex US
    AF f-101B pilot….on a formation takeoff, lead would call “BURNERS NOW” telling number 2 to light his, or hers, afterburners.
    I say to you…”BURNERS NOW”…and have a good flight!

  7. Barry Borella says:

    Ms. Waiz’s accomplishments, while significant, are not that remarkable when compared to other Western women. To portray her as “the first civilian female pilot from Afghanistan” is misleading and a bit of a stretch, given that she left the country at the ripe old age of one. While I wish her the best of success, I worry that on her stopover in Kabul (as well as on any stopover in a Muslim country) she would be a target for radicals.

    • Michael Haley says:

      Her claim may be more than a stretch; it may be completely false. There are two claims Waiz and her PR team has made about her birth: one is that she was born in a refugee camp; another is that she left the Afghanistan refugee camp at the age of one. The problem is that in 1987, there were no refugee camps inside Afghanistan. The camps and relative safety for those fleeing the Soviet regime were over the border inside Pakistan, although some refugee villages were close to the border with Afghanistan. If, as Waiz herselfnclaims, she was born in a refugee camp, then it is almost certain that she was born in Pakistan, and has never set foot in Afghanistan.

  8. Scott McGregor says:

    Captain Waiz: Congratulations! Wishing you all the luck in the world on your incredible adventure. And, Happy Birthday to you as well!