First officer Anita Rahman is one of the crew members who conducted the operation for bringing home both of Bangladesh Biman Airlines’ Dreamliners. Anita was interested in aviation from a young age, beginning her initial training in 2004 at Bangladesh Flying Academy, shortly after completing her O-level examinations. Her training concluded at the Executive Flyer’s Aviation, Bedford (Boston), in 2007, where she received her commercial license. She began her professional journey as a pilot with GMG Airlines and joined Biman Bangladesh Airlines in 2011. The Dash 8 100 was the first aircraft that she flew.
She feels that there is a scarcity of female pilots in the Bangladeshi aviation industry due to the lack of exposure. According to her, job offers abroad, financial setbacks and early marriages also contribute to female students dropping out of aviation schools. “Nonetheless, today, the percentage of female students in aviation academies has reached to nearly thirty percent. I feel delighted to see this change,” she adds. She further opened up about the hectic lifestyle that comes with being a pilot. “With such a busy schedule, it is always difficult to find time for myself and my loved ones. There are days when I don’t even sleep properly, because of long flights,” she explains. “Despite this, I love my career and have made it a part of my daily life.
She also spoke about the risks that are a part of this profession. “As a pilot, between take off and landing, any fear that you might have of flying disappears and it becomes more of a habit. Flying brings me a lot of excitement and adventure,” she says. However, as a member of the crew, she has the responsibility of the passengers’ safety on her shoulders and always needs to be equipped for aircraft accidents. As a consequence, this career path has taught her to hope for the best, but always be prepared for the worst – a motto she follows in other aspects of her life as well.
A traveller at heart, Anita loves getting to see different places around the world as a part of her job. Even when she does not get enough time to explore the cities that she travels to, she makes it a point to walk around the airports. “It is always refreshing after a long flight to take a walk around the airport to get an idea about the vibrancy of the city that I am in,” she explains. “My favourite destination is Dubai, which I think has a beautiful airport.” During her tours, she likes to try out the local cuisines and get to know as much as she can about the lifestyles of the people she comes across.
As a proud member of the crew of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, she encourages other young women who are looking to take up a career in aviation to keep fighting with confidence. “No career is too tough for women and girls if they have the enthusiasm to take up new challenges and are determined to work to the best of their abilities,” concludes Anita.