Aucoin: 3rd Annual Aviation Awareness Day flies high for St. John children

Published 4:03 pm Wednesday, May 1, 2019

On April 20, the Port of South Louisiana helped sponsor the 3rd Annual Aviation Awareness Day, presented by Guys Achieving Goals, at the Port of South Louisiana Regional Executive Airport in Reserve.

The event, which was first held in 2017, introduces aviation to children and their families by way of meeting people with careers in aviation and, most importantly, offering many of these children their first airplane ride.

Aviation Awareness Day not only showcases our airport, but also highlights a possible career path many in the community might not have considered: one in the field of aviation.

At this year’s Aviation Awareness Day, over 165 children and their families attended. In total, several hundred residents visited the Port of South Louisiana Regional Executive Airport for the day. The event has grown in popularity, number of planes and pilots on-hand and sponsorships and is expected to continue increasing each year.

This year, six planes, including Cessnas and Pipers, were on hand to take many children, ages 5-18, to the skies over the River Parishes, some for the first time, creating happy memories and positive experiences for all.

In addition to the Port providing event space and donating fuel for the plane rides, many local businesses and organizations sponsored and participated in the day. Refreshments were provided by several notable companies, including Valero and Marathon Petroleum.

Access Health Louisiana offered free health screenings.

The St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office had their Bear Cat vehicle available for viewing. Members of the River Parishes Classic Cruisers Association also had their cars on display for the community to see.    

The Port of South Louisiana is proud to support Guys Achieving Goals in presenting this event for the community. Guys Achieving Goals is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2017.

The Aviation Awareness Day event also serves as a means of encouragement for young people to do well in school; mathematics and technology are two essential educational areas that are applied daily to flying and aviation.

It takes discipline, years of preparation, and structure to pursue and achieve a successful career in aviation; the foundation for these three traits is laid within a solid education.

Aviation Awareness Day has been a successful event for the River Parishes community for the past three years. According to Guys Achieving Goals President Paul Green, every year more people enjoy and support this day. The Port looks forward to helping this event grow every year and for future years to come.

Paul Aucoin is executive director of the Port of South Louisiana. For more information, call 985-652-9278.