Capt. Sabrina Murray enjoys the challenge of spending her days in an air traffic control tower as an aerospace controller at 14 Wing Greenwood. Murray is a proud member of a relatively small group of women who have decided to take on the field of aviation in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).
In 2008, Murray made the decision to join the Royal Canadian Air Force. A wide variety of experience and career choices appealed to her to join the CAF. Murray recalls that before joining the military, the thought of physical training seemed daunting to her.
“Once you join the military and really push yourself, you see how far and how much you can actually do,” said Murray.
Because of her degree in environmental studies and interest in weather research, she initially joined the CAF as meteorology technician.
However, over the years, and due to her close work with air traffic controllers, her interests kept pulling her towards a new trade. In 2011, Murray decided to make the switch to the aviation side, was sent to Greenwood, NS and hasn’t looked back since.
She’s enjoyed her time working in the air traffic control tower. As aerospace controller, she operates radar, computer, communication and other systems to survey airspace. She watches over flight plans and coordinate air and ground traffic. Her background as a meteorology technician comes in handy when she needs to interpret weather reports.
“When you’re on duty controlling, your jobs are to ensure that the operations of the airfield run smoothly,” explained Murray.
Last summer, Murray had the opportunity to attend a conference on women in aviation in Waterloo, ON. The experience was an opportunity for her to learn more about the women who pioneered the feel she is now working in.
“It was very inspiring because there’s not a lot of women involved in aviation, the percentage, number wise, is really small. So it was really inspiring to hear from women who have been in that area for a long time and see how things have changed over time and all the experiences they’ve had,” recalled Murray.
Taking a closer look at the history of women in aviation has made the aerospace controller motivated by the women who dared to step into a field that was mostly male dominated.
“At the conference they talked about women that have been in the field since the 80s when it wasn’t that common to have women in aviation at all,” noted Murray.
For other women out there aspiring to enter the field of aviation or join the CAF, Murray encourages them to believe in their potential.
“You’d be surprised what you can do when you push yourself….don’t sell yourself short, and you can do more than you think you can do,” said Murray.