We caught up with our Chief Pilot Ashley Gomez to reflect on her time at Republic and her role as a trendsetter for women in aviation. Ashley stepped into the Chief Pilot role in 2017 after holding several roles in the company such as First Officer and Captain on various aircraft as well as Line Check Airman, Ground Instructor, Ground-Based Flight Simulator Instructor and Pilot Mentor.
Ashley is one of few women chief pilots within airlines in the U.S. and even the world, but she has never let that keep her from leading the pack, doing her job and being the best at it. As chief pilot, Ashley leads our pilot group of about 2,200 airline pilots, ensuring we maintain safe, clean and reliable operations for our passengers while leading the pilot group to be the best in the industry.
Some people just know that they want to be in the sky- what led to you to foster a passion for aviation?
Like many, I caught the bug early. When my parents took us on vacation to Disney when I was younger, I decided that one day I would fly that airplane that I was riding on. I was completely fascinated with the mechanics and aerodynamics behind how that aircraft got airborne. I dreamed of flying ever since.
Though you’ve held many roles with Republic, which of your former positions was most integral to your career trajectory?
Being a Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI) made me realize how much I love teaching and working with others. It also helped me increase my skills as a leader and build the confidence that I needed to move on in my career.
You’ve been a trailblazer in the industry. What has your experience been like as a woman in aviation?
Very positive. I have received a lot of support through the years and never felt like I had to work harder than anyone else. Having said that, my personality and work ethic is to not just put my best foot forward but to give it 150% and build on my knowledge base.
As someone who has been a part of this company for over 20 years, what is your favorite part of being a Republic Associate?
The people- we have amazing people at this airline. They are all like family and will be there to help you no matter what you need. My Republic family has always stepped up when I needed it the most without me even having to ask. Nothing beats the people that we have at this airline.
How has your time at Republic influenced your aviation journey?
This has been my only airline I’ve worked at, and after 21 years, it’s been amazing to watch this airline grow from just over 300 pilots when I started to over 2200 pilots that we have today. I am proud of the company we have become, and I am honored to be part of it and I look forward to what our future holds.
What is the most gratifying part of your role with Republic?
The most gratifying part of my work is supporting a great pilot group and having the opportunity to work with a group of people who strive to make our airline the best.
What would you say to young girls thinking about becoming pilots?
You can do anything you put your mind to—just go for it! Set goals, work hard and be humble.
Ashley, we are proud and fortunate to have you lead the pack in our airline and our Republic family. You help make Republic the BEST!
Interested in flying with our crew? Applications are open for various positions within our airline at rjet.com.