Imagine seeing a conversation online one day where someone said they have never seen a woman fly a plane.
It was at that moment Kyana Bubb, an air traffic controller in Grenada, decided she needed to change that with her children’s book: “The Adventures of Xola and Sage: Women in Aviation.”
Kyana says at first the thought of writing a book was a joke but she ended up finishing the text for the book in one day back in September 2020 with the book being published seven months later.
“My passion and love for aviation made me write this one for the children.”
Her book has been well received by teens and adults even though it is geared to children. Kyana says many people did not know what she did in her job and through explaining it, the book has inspired many boys and girls.
She hopes when there is a call for air traffic controllers there will be more girls to step up.
Kyana says she specifically chose to pen a children’s book to open the minds of kids to the possibility of entering other careers in Grenada.
“I thought I would write a book to inspire children to think outside the box, including girls, who could be a pilot, a flight attendant and an air traffic controller.
It was also my mission to let people know this job (air traffic controller) does exist and it’s not just a guy standing on the ramp.”
So how did she get into this field? Kyana says she has always liked aviation, having travelled a lot from the time she was born.
Geography was her favourite subject in school and she also loves maps. In secondary school, during a regular career search, Kyana says she realised Geography was that subject she could not let go of as well as Physics.
“In my textbooks I saw an air traffic controller and the air traffic control tower on an IT textbook… the Physics textbook cover had a pilot in the flight deck and other books had different things about aviation…. it was like a sign.”
Kyana says when she finished secondary school, she went back for an additional year to do secretarial studies and applied for a job training internship at the airport. During that time, she got to interact with the Met Office and returned for a summer internship. One day she was taken to see the control tower and realised she liked it as it was more challenging.
She went to college, did her Associate’s Degree in Math and Geography and submitted an application to the airport for air traffic control. She was successful and was sent to Trinidad to train for seven months and well now you know her story.
So exactly what does an air traffic controller do? Kyana says her job mostly entails clearing aircraft to land and take off as well as guiding pilots.
“It’s a job with a lot of talking but you have to be concise when dealing with a lot of aircraft.”
Even though she is an air traffic controller, and now a first-time author, Kyana says one day she would love to fly an aircraft, noting her favourite aircraft is the Boeing 777.