Home Best Places in the Fraser Valley Abbotsford British Columbia The Sky’s No Limit – Girls Fly Too at the Abbotsford Airport

The Sky’s No Limit – Girls Fly Too at the Abbotsford Airport

Girls Fly Too in Abbotsford

The Sky’s No Limit – Girls Fly Too is a free event. It features airplanes, helicopters, emergency vehicles and flying opportunities at the Abbotsford Airport.

The event takes place every year in Abbotsford. It last happened on October 2nd and 3rd of 2021.

 

Abbotsford Airport’s Girls Fly Too

Girls Fly Too is the largest diversity outreach event in the fields of aerospace, aviation, defence and marine industries in the world. The event strives to inspire females to consider a future career involved in not just aviation, but also the aerospace and marine & defence industries.

One of the best parts about Girls Fly Too is that all their events are free! This encourages everyone to participate (no matter their age and gender). It also ensures that there aren’t any barriers for people who are interested in checking out Girls Fly Too.

The only activities that aren’t all-inclusive are the free flights. They are exclusive to first-time female fliers. That includes girls as well as women of all ages. Folks who are both eligible and interested have two ways of earning a free flight.

First, eligible attendees can participate in social media challenges and promote the event, with the prize being a free flight. The second option is to go directly to Girls Fly Too and obtain a flyer that describes the event. There is a treasure map included in each flyer and people need to go to the locations listed on the map. Folks can get verified for visiting each place and women and girls can use the completed map as a passport to board a free flight.

NOTE: The free flights have limited capacities. People are also chosen on a first-come, first-serve basis. Unless you win your flight, after completing your passport map you have to join the lineup. Government-issued photo ID is required as well, and participants (or their guardians) need to sign a consent form too.

 

Inside a Military Transport Plane
Inside a Military Transport Carrier

 

When is the Event?

Girls Fly Too didn’t take place in 2020 due to COVID-19. Fortunately, the event returned in 2021 to great success! It took place on October 2nd and 3rd from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm on both days. Since the pandemic was still ongoing, people had to be fully vaccinated in order to participate. Masks were also mandatory in indoor settings.

The Girls Fly Too event has been running every year since 2015 except for in 2020 when it didn’t happen because of COVID-19. In past years the event has been held in different months. In 2019, for example, it was in August and in 2018 it was in March.

In the future, Girls Fly Too is going to take place in early October annually from now on because the date coincides with the week of the International Day of the Girl. It’ll likely happen on the first weekend of the month, so a week before the Thanksgiving Long Weekend, although exact details are to be confirmed.

 

Thanksgiving Weekend in Vancouver

 

Where Does Girls Fly Too Take Place?

The Sky’s No Limit – Girls Fly Too event takes place at the Abbotsford International Airport. The airport terminal’s address is 30440 Liberator Avenue in Abbotsford. That’s where you’ll find the airport’s Arrival and Departure gates. The event doesn’t, however, take place at or anywhere near the terminal!

The actual entrance to the Girls Fly Too event is near where the Abbotsford International Airshow takes place in the summer, at 1595 Townline Road.

When we went to the event in 2021 we went to the terminal by mistake and there was no sign of the event. Not even a sign, literally! Actually there was one. We walked down the street a little ways and saw a map taped to the door of an office. The office folk had probably gotten tired of people going in and asking if they knew where the Girls Can Fly event was happening and so put up the sign with a hand-drawn map.

It turned out that the entrance to the event was on the far side of the airport property from the terminal. From the terminal you had to drive north along Mt. Lehman Road, turn right onto Marshall Road and then right again onto Townline. On Townline Road there were signs directing people to the entrance (which normally isn’t open to the general public).

To get to the Abbotsford Airport, if coming from Vancouver, head east along the Trans-Canada Highway. Take exit #83 to merge onto Mount Lehman Road and the airport can be reached within minutes. People who are coming from further east in the Fraser Valley can also take the Highway but get off at exit #87. They can then merge onto Clearbrook Road and soon arrive at the airport.

 

US Military at Abbotsford Airport

 

What to Expect

After driving into the airport via the Townline Road entrance you’ll park your car. The first thing you’ll likely see is a small number of food trucks. From there you’ll head towards the airfield.

On the tarmac you’ll see rows of small planes as well as a few giant aircraft. It’s an impressive sight! Only at the Abbotsford International Airshow are there more planes on the ground for people to see and admire.

At the event you can expect to see military personnel, search and rescue workers, police officers and firefighters. You’ll also see young families and airplane enthusiasts.

When we went we were surprised at how many planes there were for people to see and climb aboard. We were also surprised at how few attendees there were. There was a big lineup for the free flights for women and girls, and for people wanting to go up on the giant fire truck ladder. There were no lineups, however, to board most of the planes. The place wasn’t crowded at all, at least not when we went.

In addition to a wide variety of airplanes, there are also helicopters, police vehicles and at least one fire truck. There are also lots of people who can tell you all about careers in a variety of related industries.

If you like airplanes, helicopters, military things and vehicles with sirens, this is a fabulous event! There is so much to see and do, and all of it is completely free! It’s a lot like the Abbotsford Airshow, but without the cost, crowds, fireworks and stunt shows.

 

Military Helicopter

 

Event Schedule

Below is the 2021 event’s schedule of events. 2022 details will likely be similar.

 

Saturday, October 2nd, 2021

  • 9:00 am: Free flights, hands-on and interactive activities start
  • 10:00 am: Highlight activity
  • 11:00 am: Speeches and opening ceremony
  • 12:00 pm: Highlight activities
  • 5:30 pm: End of the event

 

Sunday, October 3rd, 2021

  • 9:00 am: Free flights, hands-on and interactive activities start
  • 10:00 am: Highlight activities
  • 5:30 pm: End of the event

 

Free Events and Activities in October

 

Girls Fly Too Video

Check out the video below to get a good sense of Girls Fly Too’s 2021 event. As you can see, participants got the chance to tour the insides of various planes. They had opportunities to meet and chat with people working in aviation and other industries too!

 

 

 

Tips and Advice

Below are some suggestions and extra information to help you make the most out of your Sky’s No Limit – Girls Fly Too experience.

TIP #1: Be sure to read our note above about where the event takes place. It’s at the Abbotsford Airport, but not near the main terminal.

TIP #2: You don’t have to book your visit in advance. You can just show up on the day (or at least that was the case in 2021).

TIP #3: If you like airplanes, then go to this event if you can. It’s free and provides an exceptional opportunity to learn about planes and careers in aviation and related industries.

TIP #4: The event isn’t just for girls. It’s for everyone. Boys and men can go too. Males don’t qualify for the free flights, but they can enjoy pretty much everything else.

TIP #5: Go even on a rainy day! If you do you’ll find there are even fewer crowds and lineups than if it was a sunny day. On a miserable day you’ll have even more time to sit in the cockpits and ask questions. And it’s free, so it’s still worth going to!

TIP #6: If coming from Metro Vancouver, don’t forget that gas is usually cheaper in Abbotsford and other parts of the Fraser Valley. Remember to fill up your tank while you’re out there.

TIP #7: While in the area, if you’re with young children, be sure to also check out some of the Lower Mainland’s Best Pumpkin Patches. There are a number of them including Petey’s Pumpkin Patch in Chilliwack as well as a couple of other good ones in Abbotsford.

 

Halloween Activities for Kids

 

Other Information

To learn more about the event visit the girlsfly2.ca website.

To learn more about the area see our articles about Abbotsford and the Fraser Valley.

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