National Aviation Day
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Celebrating Flight on National Aviation Day

Picture of Celebrating Flight on National Aviation Day

The exhilaration of flying is too keen, the pleasure too great, for it to be neglected as a sport.

Orville Wright

National Aviation Day was established in 1939 by Franklin D. Roosevelt to celebrate the development of aviation. The auspicious date was selected to honor Orville Wright, who was born on August 19, 1871. Mr. Wright was alive when the presidential proclamation was issued and lived to share in nine more National Aviation Day celebrations in which American citizens are encouraged to engage in aviation-related activities.

NASA’s Role in Aviation

In 1939, NASA’s organizational predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (N.A.C.A.), was 24 years old and already working on ways to help aircraft “fly faster, higher, farther, and with more cargo and passengers.” In 2017, you’ll find NASA-developed technology in every U.S. aircraft and air traffic control tower in operation.

With eyes fixed on meeting the needs of tomorrow’s global aviation community, NASA’s aeronautical innovators are currently refining existing designs and utilizing state-of-the-art technology to:

  • Improve airplane aerodynamics
  • Decrease a number of harmful emissions released into the atmosphere
  • Reduce fuel consumption
  • Make airplanes of all sizes quieter
  • Improve the efficiency of air traffic control, in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration
  • Design, build and fly a variety of experimental aircraft called X-planes to demonstrate 21st-century ideas for flight

An Exciting Time to be a Pilot

NASA suggests that National Aviation Day be used to “excite and inspire the young people you know about exploring aeronautics as a future career.” In fact, there’s never been a greater need for qualified, skilled, and experienced pilots. Aircraft manufacturer Boeing explains, “as global economies expand and airlines take delivery of tens of thousands of new commercial jetliners over the next 20 years, there is an extraordinary demand for people to fly and maintain these airplanes.”

Between now and 2036, the aviation industry will need to supply 637,000 new commercial airline pilots, 648,000 new maintenance technicians, and 839,000 new cabin crew to fly the 41,030 new commercial aircraft Boeing expects will be in service by 2036, according to the 2017 Boeing Pilot and Technician Outlook. These figures represent a 3.2 percent increase over Boeing’s 2016 report.

Boeing breaks out the worldwide demand for new pilots over the next 20 years by region:

  • Asia Pacific: 253,000
  • North America: 117,000
  • Europe: 106,000
  • Middle East: 63,000
  • Latin America: 52,000
  • Africa: 24,000
  • CIS/Russia: 22,000

Stretch Your Wings and Soar on National Aviation Day

The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious. And why shouldn't it be? — it is the same the angels breathe.

Mark Twain

If you’ve always wondered if being a pilot is for you, seek out a flight school at your nearest general aviation airport that offers an introductory flight lesson at a discounted price. NASA suggests you can also look into local flying clubs or Civil Air Patrol in your area. To get a feel for flying with your feet firmly planted on the ground, check out this trial version of Microsoft’s Flight Simulator X that includes two airports, two missions, and three different aircraft, all taking place in the Caribbean. The best way to soar? With a solid education.

Geneva College, in cooperation with the Community College of Beaver County (CCAC), offers dual degree majors in Business & Aviation and Missions & Aviation. Concentrations include Professional Pilot, Air Traffic Control, Aerospace Management and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).

 If you’d like to learn more about the biblically based, Christ-centered education at Geneva, we’d love to help your future take flight. For more information on how Geneva College can help you pursue your aviation career goals, please phone us at 855-979-5563 or email

Opinions expressed in the Geneva Blog are those of its contributors and do not necessarily represent the opinions or official position of the College. The Geneva Blog is a place for faculty and contributing writers to express points of view, academic insights, and contribute to national conversations to spark thought, conversation, and the pursuit of truth, in line with our philosophy as a Christian, liberal arts institution.

Aug 18, 2017