Aviation education and aviation awareness programs are going on throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia for the benefit of citizens of all ages. They may be structured, full-time activities, such as high school and post secondary aviation programs, or one-time events such as airport open houses or Young Eagles days. Regardless of their format, these programs inform participants about the importance of aviation, open young minds to a much wider range of future career possibilities, and ultimately, invite young and old to experience the excitement and fun that aviation has always represented to our nation.
Aviation Education Programs
Virginia Art Contest
The Virginia Department of Aviation operates an Aviation Art Contest for students. The program, which has a different aviation theme each year, is open to young people ages 6-17.
Learn more about the Virginia Aviation Art Contest.
The Virginia Aviation Teachers Grant Program offers reimbursement grants of up to $500.00 to Virginia K-12 teachers in any discipline as long as their lesson involves aviation.
Learn more about the Virginia Aviation Teachers Grant Program.
The Virginia Department of Aviation offers the Willard G. Plentl Sr. Aviation Scholarship Program for a Virginia high school senior planning an aviation career. In addition, the Department administers two Virginia Airport Operators Council (VAOC) scholarships: the John R. Lillard Scholarship and Kenneth R. Scott Scholarship.
The Virginia Aviation Photography Contest asks participants of all ages to submit previously unpublished aviation photos taken in Virginia to a contest with winners published in the annual Virginia Aviation Calendar and on the Department of Aviation's web and social media sites.
Commonwealth of Virginia schools offer training to prepare students for careers as an aircraft pilot, aviation maintenance technician, aviation manager, drone operator, air traffic controller and more.
There are multiple programs available in Virginia to introduce participants to aviation.
Learn to Fly
Flight schools are located at airports across the Commonwealth of Virginia. These schools enroll students in programs that prepare them to fly privately (sport, recreational or private pilot) or professionally.
The Virginia Department of Aviation partners with other organizations to promote aviation education.
Virginia Aviation Awards
Do you know someone who has achieved something extraordinary this year?
The Virginia Aviation Awards recognize individuals who have made a significant contribution to aviation in Virginia. The three awards include Airport Manager of the Year, Aviation Person of the Year and Aviation Lifetime Achievement Award.
Example services for nominees include: airport development and improvement, community relations, aviation education, promotion, safety services, aviation technology, aviation policies, flight instructing, aircraft maintenance, and aviation events.
Chad Weaver Scholarship
This scholarship will reimburse $800.00 to Virginia residents for ground school and/or flight training to become a private pilot or ground school and/or flight training to become a certified flight instructor (CFI) at a Virginia flight school. No other expenses will be reimbursed. The program is open to those who began flight training and/or ground school on or after July 1, 2021. Students must have a current FAA medical.
ICON A-5 Introduction to Flight Program
The ICON A-5 Introduction to Flight Program brings a light sport amphibian aircraft on a trailer to schools, career days, airports, community events, and other locations at no cost to the educational group.
Students will learn about how aircraft fly and about aviation careers. Two students at a time will be able to sit in the cockpit and learn about flight controls and the instrument panel.
The ICON A-5 has participated in programs for students from K-12 as well as university students and adult organizations.
If you are interested in having this aircraft visit your school or event, please contact Betty Wilson at the Virginia Department of Aviation.