The team representing Erie 1 BOCES Harkness Career and Technical Center in Cheektowaga, NY, was the winner of GAMA’s sixth annual Aviation Design Challenge. As their prize, GAMA recently sent four students from the team, and their teacher, on an all-expenses paid, two-week trip to help build a plane at Glasair Aviation in Arlington, WA. The No Plane No Gain program – jointly sponsored by NBAA and GAMA – educates policymakers and opinion leaders about the importance of these, and a host of other high-skill, high-income jobs created by business aviation.
As the 2018 Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) Aviation Career Education (ACE) Academy season comes to a close, the group is optimistic that its program will lead to diversity in the aviation industry, including business aviation. “A lot of kids see planes and want to do it, but don’t know how to enter,” said Capt. Geoff Berry, director of the OBAP Las Vegas ACE Academy and national co-director of all OBAP ACE programs. The ACE Academies are focused on middle and high school students ages 14-18, and target “minority kids who are really underrepresented in the aviation industry.”
First Wing Jet Center will host the 12th annual Open House and Fly-In at Indianapolis Executive Airport (TYQ) in Zionsville, IN, on Aug. 4, with the proceeds benefiting Down Syndrome Indiana. Business aircraft operators based at the airport are supporters of the event, providing donations to its raffle and silent auction, reports Sean White, the FBO’s general manager.
Like many small, general aviation airports across the country, Connecticut’s Simsbury Airport is vital to the business community in the Litchfield County region, airport Manager Brad Griswold wrote in a recent letter to the editor in The Register Citizen newspaper. “For both new and existing businesses across a range of different industries… the local airport and general aviation provides clear operational advantages and opens up boundless opportunities,” Griswold wrote.
Wyoming Gov. Matthew Mead highlighted the importance of the industry to the state by proclaiming June 2018 as General Aviation Appreciation Month. “General aviation and community airports play a critical role in Wyoming,” he wrote. “Many communities in Wyoming depend on general aviation and community airports for commerce, health, safety and more. General aviation airports contribute over $73 million annually to the community, support 410 jobs and have a payroll of over $14.4 million”
The Carson City Airport, one of the longest continuously operating airports in the western U.S., celebrated its 90th anniversary with an open house and fly in on June 23. The event is a highly anticipated tradition, held annually for over 20 years, and typically attracts more than 6,000 people. Although the open house features flight demonstrations and static displays of an exciting array of aircraft, tethered hot air balloon rides and other family fun events, the focus is on education.
Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., along with Coastal Empire Habitat for Humanity and other community partners, has presented a U.S. Army veteran and her family with a newly constructed home. The recipient, who was wounded while she was deployed to Afghanistan, now serves with the Georgia Army National Guard. Since construction kicked off in February, Gulfstream employees invested more than 1,000 volunteer hours to build the home.
This week, more than 100 pilots are participating in the four-day, approximately 2,400-mile Air Race Classic (ARC), the longest running air race in U.S. history. The ARC was originally conceived as the Women’s Air Derby, with legendary female pilots including Amelia Earhart and others competing in the first years. “Considering only about 7 percent of the U.S. pilot population is female, it’s exciting to see so many women dedicate their time to compete in the race,” said Kali Hague, attorney at Jetlaw, Inc., and a member of NBAA’s Regulatory Issues Advisory Group and Young Professionals Council.
General aviation, including business aviation, is a vital contributor to the economy in every state, and in June, the governors of Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, South Dakota and Washington officially recognized the industry for the important role it plays. Every state, in addition to hundreds of communities throughout the United States, have highlighted general aviation over the years for its contributions to the success of companies and citizens around the country.
Founded in 2005, Hope Flight Foundation has completed 118 free flights for children in need of medical care, covering 53,770 miles for low-income families in small towns in rural areas. “I wanted to help ill children with all the aviation knowledge and skills I have acquired over the years, and Hope Flight Foundation is the result,” said Douglas Harding, founder, president and chief pilot at Hope Flight Foundation.