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Wisconsin Aviation Week Coincides with EAA AirVenture
July 15, 2015 - Along with EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015, Wisconsin Aviation Week is July 20-26 and the overlap is no coincidence. There is no better time to pay homage to Wisconsin’s aviation industry than during EAA AirVenture week, where the state welcomes all of aviation to The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration.
Each year, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and the Transportation Development Association of Wisconsin (TDA) team up to promote, educate, and celebrate the state’s aviation industry.
According to WisDOT:
- The aviation industry supports 90,900 jobs, which generate nearly $7 billion in annual economic activity and $3.5 billion in personal income.
- The state’s aviation system includes more than 722 landing facilities, 127 of which are public-use airports.
- In 2014, Wisconsin’s aviation industry accommodated 4.9 million passengers and more than 119 million pounds of cargo.
- There are more than 5,000 registered aircraft throughout the state.
Aviation history is rich in Wisconsin and full of trailblazers. Just this month, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources marked the agency’s 100th anniversary of flying forest patrols. After the first patrol flight in 1915, other states adopted the “Wisconsin Plan” — a new aerial strategy to spot fires. The U.S. Forest Service began using aerial patrols four years later.
To keep this strong tradition of aviation, the state of Wisconsin recognizes the importance of introducing youth across the state to the aviation industry. This is a vision shared by EAA’s Young Eagles program, which offers free flights to youth between the ages of 8 and 17.
In 2014, 2,823 kids received exposure to aviation at Wisconsin airports through the program. And since 1992, more than 1.9 million Young Eagles across the country have enjoyed a flight from EAA’s network of volunteer pilots. For many, it was the start of a journey to a career in the field, whether as a pilot, an aircraft mechanic, an air traffic controller, or many of the other aviation career possibilities.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation also offers an innovative program to introduce minority youth to aviation. For more than 25 years, the Aviation Careers Education (ACE) Program, a summer employment and learning opportunity for Milwaukee high school students, has been encouraging youth to explore aviation. The ACE program has not only been successful in stimulating students to become interested in air transportation careers, but also in developing skills needed to be successful members of the workforce.
ACE promotes aviation and space education, offers extracurricular activities and provides students experiences in aviation-related jobs, and Wisconsin is committed to ensuring the aviation industry continues on a strong path.
Have a great week at EAA AirVenture for those attending, and thank you for helping us celebrate Wisconsin Aviation Week.