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Youth Aviation at Airports

Every successful airport strives to engage with its community to share information about why general aviation airports are so critical to the regions they serve. General aviation airports provide direct access to the national airspace system and facilitate aeronautical activity that enhance the economy and support the public good including aeromedical flights, air ambulance services, law enforcement, aerial surveying, agriculture, military training, and disaster relief. Communities are strengthened by having a capable, vibrant general aviation airport within its reach.

Here at the Winchester Regional Airport, youth aviation education is a top priority. We believe that educating and inspiring students through aviation can make a lasting impact on their lives and career choices. We are fortunate to share this vision with several organizations at our airport, including the national nonprofit STEM Flights.

STEM Flights was formed in 2018 and selected KOKV as its headquarters in 2019. They work with local school systems and nonprofit partners to identify students with an interest in STEM or aviation. STEM Flights coordinates a curated flight experience for each student using volunteer pilots who graciously donate their time and aircraft. The flight profile complements online curriculum also provided by the organization. After the thrill of flight is experienced (the first time for many), STEM Flights continues its work by providing each student with access to resources aimed at fostering an interest in STEM including mentoring, scholarship databases, and career planning tools.

This unique program brings students and parents from around the region to our airport to learn about the joys of aviation and opportunities for STEM-related careers in the aviation industry. STEM Flights recruits pilots based at KOKV and invites others from surrounding airports to experience our community and participate in the STEM Flights mission. STEM Flights supports the airport’s community engagement efforts and helps us introduce local students to the exciting world of aviation and STEM careers.

Nick Sabo

Executive Director

Winchester Regional Airport (KOKV)

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