More than 1,200 students learned about aviation career opportunities at the 14th Annual “The Sky’s the Limit: Aviation Career Day” event at Van Nuys Airport (VNY). Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nury Martinez, The Park VNY, Van Nuys Airport and The Valley Economic Alliance hosted over 40 exhibitors showcasing interactive and static aircraft displays, and students heard directly from industry experts about career opportunities.
“As I always say, you can’t be what you can’t see. Aviation Career Day exposes our children to achievable high paying career paths. In a time when the aviation industry is experiencing a shortage of pilots, air traffic controllers, and other aviation fields, it is now more important than ever to introduce aviation to our students,” said City of Los Angeles Councilwoman Nury Martinez.
“Aviation Career Day allows us to share our passion for airports and open kids’ eyes to the wide variety of careers available in our profession,” said Flora Margheritis, Airport Manager, VNY. “Whether they’re into art, science, math or writing, there is a career path for these students in the aviation industry, and we want them to know that we want them to be part of our team.”
“Twenty years ago, Western Jet Aviation started with one employee, today we have 75, many of which have been hired right out of our local schools. We look to hire local workers for all areas of our business, and we’re always seeking out new talent,” said Jim Hansen, owner and founder, Western Jet Aviation. “Our hope is that someday soon, one or more of these students will come back and knock on our door, ready to join our team.”
One of the highlights of Aviation Career Day was the panel discussion, “How to Enter a Career in Aviation,” which included industry professionals offering insider tips based on their own career experiences. Personnel from the Los Angeles Airport Police and Los Angeles Fire Department also were on hand to talk about their careers. In addition to the speakers, industry experts and informational booths, there were numerous aircraft available with which students took photos and selfies. Aircraft on display included a U.S. Navy F-18, a NASA Armstrong Research Center C-12, a drone display from Helinet Aviation, Los Angeles Fire Department air rescue helicopters, and two WWII-era Condor Squadron AT-6’s, among others. Participants also were treated to a behind-the-scenes look at the history and daily operations of VNY, one of the world’s busiest general aviation airports, with an award-winning guided airport tour.
To date close to 20,000 students have experienced Aviation Career Day since 2006.