Sept. 27, 2014

NBAA’s Director of Regional Programs Steve Hadley connected with many of the more than 900 students who participated in an aviation career fair on Sept. 25, 2014, during the second annual Kansas Aviation Expo, held Sept. 22 to 26 in Wichita, KS. The event was just one of several in a weeklong celebration of aviation in Kansas.

The expo was organized by the Kansas Commission on Aerospace Education, a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to developing and encouraging educational and vocational programs that promote the aviation industry in Kansas to young students. NBAA also co-sponsored the expo’s Sept. 26 business aviation sessions, which featured industry leaders who spoke on a variety of topics, from avionics to security.

Hadley, who mentored students in groups and individually, said, “We had a great turnout and interactions with them.” Hadley spoke about business aviation as an alternative to the military or airline career opportunities with which most students were already familiar. Scholarships were another key point of discussion.

NBAA has always been interested in making sure students who can benefit from scholarships actually apply for and receive them, said Hadley. “There are many scholarships available from different organizations, but coordinating with students interested in applying for them has always been a challenge.” Presenters shared a number of possible solutions.

During the expo’s business aviation sessions, industry advocates from across Kansas presented positive views of the industry to students and community leaders. One speaker, drawing upon many of the principles of the No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign, a joint undertaking of NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, showed the many ways that general aviation can help a business be more efficient and grow.

The expo kicked off on Sept. 22 with a three-day air tour of Kansas. Each of the nine stops featured a different aspect of general aviation’s economic contributions. Business aviation was the focus of the stops at Independence, home to a Cessna plant, and Pittsburg, where roughly a quarter of the based aircraft are business jets.