The Virginia Aviation Ambassadors program has been in existence since July 2005 and has been highly successful in encouraging pilots and aviation enthusiasts to visit all 65 of Virginia’s public use airports as well as aviation museums.
To date, 596 individuals have completed the program and many are well on their way to earning the coveted gold-level leather jacket. The Virginia Department of Aviation is proud to sponsor the program, which is run by the Communications and Education division.
DOAV is thankful for the support of each airport and aviation museum in helping the program run smoothly. It wouldn’t be successful without the assistance of the many airport managers and attendants who greet ambassadors and stamp their passports.
To receive a stamp from a participating airport or facility, ambassadors must present a photo ID matching the name in the Virginia Aviation Ambassador passport. Each participant may only receive one airport stamp per visit. While the program stipulates that a stamp must be placed in the passport for each airport, DOAV understands that occasionally a participant may land at an airport at a time when the office isn’t open so a cellphone photo, which is date stamped and shows the Ambassador participant and an identifiable airport sign, may be substituted for up to two of the required stamps.
In order to qualify for a bronze level award (Virginia Aviation Ambassadors cap and lapel pin), ambassadors must visit 25 public-use airports. The silver level award (flight bag) is given to participants who have visited 50 public-use airports. Keep in mind that ambassadors need to visit at least one airport from each of Virginia’s seven airport regions to qualify for bronze or silver level.
In addition, all ambassadors must visit at least four of the nine aviation museums and attend an approved safety seminar. Lastly, a stamp from a Virginia Fly-In is required and can be obtained at any event where the Department of Aviation will be on site to stamp passports. Each of these stamps are needed for the bronze, silver or gold-level awards.
Upon completion of any level of the program, please contact the Department of Aviation to schedule a time to have your passport reviewed. Public Relations and Education Coordinator David Halstead oversees the program and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 804-236-3630.