September 1, 2016

A lobster dinner awaits you in Maine. In Virginia, North Dakota, Minnesota, and South Carolina, you can get a leather flight jacket. In New Jersey there’s an instrument flying course, and in North Carolina a pilot’s watch. In some states it’s cash. These are the rewards for doing something you love and already do: flying into and out of your local airports.

To promote and publicize their general aviation airports, many states across the country have “passport” or ambassador programs in which they offer a passport book that can be stamped to keep a record of landing at each airport; present it to claim an incentive prize. Get a stamp at just five of the 75 Maine airports, for example, and a twin lobster dinner awaits you on the Maine Flying Trail.

Passport Program

Arkansas. The Arkansas Aviation Ambassador Program challenges you to visit between 30 and 70 airports in the state to qualify for different levels of rebate checks.

Maine. The Maine Flying Trail Passport Programhelps support tourism in Maine.

Maryland. Explore Maryland by Air encourages pilots to visit both airports and aviation museums in the state and qualify for its Ace-level prize.

Massachusetts. Fly the Bay State Challenge is an ongoing program that not only encourages pilots to fly into all 39 of the state’s public-use airports but also participate in an FAA safety seminar.

Minnesota. Fly Minnesota Airports! awards pilots who visit 130 out of the 136 state airports, visit six museums, and attend six FAA safety seminars with a leather flight jacket.

New Jersey. The New Jersey Airport Challenge is usually a month-long event that awards an instrument-flying course and participant picnic.

North Carolina. Operation: Fly NC encourages pilots to fly to all of the 81 airports in the state, attend four safety seminars, and visit four museums to qualify for flight bags and pilot watches.

North Dakota. Fly North Dakota honors pilots who visit between 30 and 89 of the state’s public-use airports, visit museums, and attend FAA safety seminars. In 2015 11 pilots received the grand prize of a leather flight jacket.

Oregon. Explore Oregon highlights 19 to 20 airports in the state in a six-month air rally; participants qualify for a gift certificate drawing.

South Carolina. The South Carolina Aviation Association encourages pilots to visit all 59 of the state’s public-use airports and attend safety seminars.

South Dakota. Fly South Dakota Airports! awards pilots for visiting between 20 and 74 of the state’s airports with patches, mugs, paperweights, and gift certificates.

Virginia. The Virginia Aviation Ambassadors Program encourages pilots to visit all 66 of the state’s airports, see aviation museums, attend safety seminars, and attend the Virginia Regional Festival of Flight. Win a leather jacket; other incentive prizes are also available.


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