Van Nuys Airport (VNY), one of the world’s busiest general aviation airports, announces the launch of a free virtual airport tour that invites children to experience the adventure of flight, learn how airplanes fly and explore exciting careers in aviation.
Adapted from the airport’s popular on-site tour program, which has been temporarily suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions, the 12-minute video tour is geared toward young learners but can be enjoyed by teachers and parents.
“Van Nuys Airport’s virtual tour program is designed to provide educators and parents with engaging resources for children to learn at home, while sparking an interest in aviation,” said VNY Airport Manager Flora Margheritis. “During this challenging time, we hope to share our passion for aviation with young learners and inspire people of all ages to explore the wonders and possibilities of flight.”
Guided by the airport’s mascot, Vinny, the tour provides a behind-the-scenes look at the diverse aircraft, operations and aviation businesses located on the 730-acre airfield. Students will view propeller airplanes, jets and helicopters take off and land, as well as learn about taxiways, runways, hangars and other airport components. Along the way, they will also meet airport police officers and firefighters who are busy keeping the airfield and community safe.
To extend the virtual educational experience, opportunities are available for tour groups to schedule a live video conference with a pilot, air traffic controller, aircraft mechanic, first responder or other airport employee. VNY also offers a variety of online learning activities and resources to enjoy from home. The virtual tour and online resources are accessible on the VNY kids’ website page at https://www.iflyvny.com/community-information/kids-page.
Founded in 1928 by America’s early flight pioneers, VNY has played an important role in both San Fernando Valley and aviation history. Over the decades, it has served as a U.S. military base, center for aerospace manufacturing, famed air race venue and backdrop for Hollywood movie-making.
Today, VNY provides a vital base for life-saving air ambulance, firefighting, public safety and humanitarian missions. Contributing $2 billion annually to the Southern California economy, the airport supports more than 10,000 jobs and approximately 200 on-site businesses – ranging from flight schools and aircraft maintenance shops to private jet charter and helicopter service companies. It is also home to one of the nation’s top airframe and power plant mechanics schools.