Hundreds learn about aviation at DuPage Airport's Back-to-School celebration
Hundreds of students and their parents had the chance to learn about careers in aviation -- and get a close look at a variety of planes -- Thursday during the third annual DuPage Airport Back to School Celebration in West Chicago.
During the four-hour event sponsored by the airport and West Chicago, students could sit in cockpits, explore airport fire and rescue vehicles, climb on maintenance and snow removal equipment; experience flight simulators; and check out vintage aircraft and military planes.
The roughly 1,500 attendees at one of the region's busiest business aviation airports also got to meet local first responders as well as pilots and other aviation professionals.
"Back to School provides the perfect opportunity to connect the younger generation to the exciting world of aviation," Stephen Davis, chairman of the DuPage Airport Authority and founder of Tuskegee NEXT, a pilot training program for at-risk youth, said in a written statement. "The industry needs pilots, mechanics, engineers and air traffic controllers -- so there's no shortage of impactful and rewarding career paths. We hope that after visiting our facility, students from West Chicago and beyond are motivated to continue exploring all the industry has to offer."
Participants also viewed exhibits by the West Chicago Fire Protection District, West Chicago Police Department, Boy Scouts Three Fires Council, Red Cross and Healthy West Chicago.
Admission was free and attendees received a free lunch and refreshments.