ANCHORAGE – National Aviation Day is observed on August 19th each year to celebrate the history and development of aviation. It coincides with the birthday of Orville Wright, who made the first sustained, powered flight on December 17, 1903 in a plane he and his brother Wilbur built. This twelve-second flight led to the development of the first practical airplane in 1905, and launched worldwide efforts to build better flying machines.
According to DOT&PF Deputy Commissioner of Aviation Steve Hatter, the department proudly recognizes the historic day. “Aviation is truly a way of life in Alaska where there are more pilots per capita than anyplace else and 82% of our communities are not connected to a highway or road system,” he said. “I encourage everyone to learn more about aviation, airports, and our own Alaskan aviation history and technology.”
Organizations promoting aviation history include the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum in Anchorage and Pioneer Air Museum in Fairbanks.
The Federal Aviation Administration is encouraging students to celebrate National Aviation day by participating in the International Aviation Art Contest. More information about the contest is available at www.fai.org/education/young_artists_contest
The state of Alaska owns and operates 254 airports including the Anchorage and Fairbanks International airports. More information on Alaska’s airports is available at www.dot.alaska.gov