Oct. 14, 2021

Getting young people interested in business aviation careers, and capitalizing on their energy and talent, is a key mission of NBAA, and that effort was in focus during Collegiate Connect Day, held on the final day of the 2021 NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE).

The event featured U.S. House Reps. Dina Titus (D-1-NV) and Sam Graves (R-6-MO). Both lawmakers are known on Capitol Hill for their leadership on matters related to the nation’s aviation industry, including as members of the House General Aviation (GA) Caucus.

“This is an exciting time for young people to go into the field of aviation,” said Titus, who pointed especially to the opportunities presented by advanced air mobility.

Graves told the college students in attendance about growing up on a farm surrounding an airport built on land his great-grandfather donated after World War II. He took every opportunity he could as a boy to scrounge rides in airplanes, and eventually secured private, instrument, multi-engine, commercial and air transport licenses.

He’s performed at air shows, and despite his degree in plant physiology to work on his family farm, ended up in Congress.

There, Graves co-chairs the House GA Caucus, and he stressed to the students the need for the aviation community to constantly make its case. “We want to make sure our skies stay open.”

The Collegiate Connect session also included networking and “speed-mentoring” for the approximately 60 students who attended. They got to meet young professionals from companies including Axis Jet, Constant Aviation, Embraer, Encompass Health and Textron.

Learn more about NBAA’s Young Professionals in Business Aviation program.

Any person who attends an NBAA convention, conference, seminar or other program grants permission to NBAA, its employees and agents (collectively "NBAA") to record his or her visual/audio images, including, but not limited to, photographs, digital images, voices, sound or video recordings, audio clips, or accompanying written descriptions, and, without notifying such person, to use his or her name and such images for any purpose of NBAA, including advertisements for NBAA and its programs.