1,200 students heard from dozens of exhibitors.
Van Nuys Airport, one of the busiest general aviation facilities in the U.S., last week held its 14th annual, “The Sky’s the Limit: Aviation Career Day.” This year more than 1,200 students got a first-hand look at dozens of job opportunities possibly awaiting them in the aviation industry. Since the first VNY Aviation Career Day in 2006, nearly 20,000 Los Angeles area kids have taken part in the event.
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. Display aircraft 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. Participants were treated to a behind-the-scenes look at the history and daily operations of VNY.
Flora Margheritis, Airport Manager, VNY said, “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. 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.”
“As I always say, you can’t be what you can’t see,” said Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nury Martinez. “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.”
“Twenty years ago, Van Nuys-based 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, Western Jet Aviation owner and founder. “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.”