16:54 PM

CAP's Desmarais Addresses Orientation Flights, Youth Aviation Initiative on FAA Panel

Increasing youth interest in aviation was the topic when John Desmarais, Civil Air Patrol's director of operations, sat on the “Priming the Pipeline” panel during the Federal Aviation Association’s Aviation Workforce Symposium this morning at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia.

Desmarais highlighted funding and partnerships that support orientation flights for CAP, Junior ROTC and ROTC cadets as well as teachers. He also discussed U.S. Air Force funding for CAP's Youth Aviation Initiative, which will launch in fiscal year 2019.

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson provided remarks saying that “We need to provide multiple paths for our nation’s youth to pursue aviation ... to overcome barriers of entry, primarily financial ... to develop a strategy and pathways through alliances between government, industry and consumers.”

The symposium’s themes were “Priming the Pipeline," "Pathways to Proficiency" and "Productive Partnerships.” Representatives from various agencies and industry discussed collaboration and innovation while recognizing efforts across the nation.

CAP has recently begun intensifying its emphasis on aviation training for youth in light of developing pilot shortages among commercial airlines and in the military.