ATLANTA, July 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) and the Organization of Black Airline Pilots (OBAP) today flew aspiring aviation professionals to the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. on the 11th annual "Dream Flight". The flight is a highlight of the Aviation Career Education (ACE) camp, a two-week summer program co-sponsored by Delta and OBAP for minority teenagers with an interest in aviation careers.
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The camps, held primarily at Delta's World Headquarters in Atlanta, teach students aviation history, aerodynamics, meteorology, navigation and flight simulator orientation with professional flight instructors. Select graduates are invited back the following year to participate in Flight Line, an in-depth seminar focused on pilot training that allows students to perform solo flights during ACE camp.
Delta also is in its 11th year of supporting ACE camps in Minneapolis. Thousands of students, some of whom later became commercial pilots, have been introduced to careers in aviation at the camps.
As part of the final week of training, the Dream Flight takes students on a daylong field trip to a major aviation facility. Past trips have included visits to the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla.; the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio; and the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Last year, aviation students visited the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Washington, D.C.
"The Dream Flight provides aspiring minority aviators with hands-on experience and the opportunity to see our pilots at work and ask questions," said Captain Steve Dickson, Delta's senior vice president – Flight Operations. "We're very proud of this partnership and believe the commitment of personnel, time and resources has proven extremely valuable in the development of future professionals and aviation enthusiasts."
Delta donated the use of a Boeing 757 aircraft for the trip, which carried more than 155 aviation students to the Melbourne International Airport. From there, they visited Kennedy Space Center where they viewed the Launch Complex-39 Observation Gantry, a four-story tower with a view of launch pads 39A and B, from which all Space Shuttle flights depart, as well as the Apollo/Saturn V Center, home of the 363-foot Saturn V moon rocket and mission control consoles.
On Friday, students from the ACE and Flight Line camps will take part in the 2010 graduation ceremonies at Delta's Atlanta Training Center.
Delta Air Lines serves more than 160 million customers each year. With its unsurpassed global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 369 destinations in 67 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs more than 70,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 700 aircraft. A founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance, Delta participates in the industry's leading trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 13,000 daily flights, with hubs in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita. The airline's service includes the SkyMiles frequent flier program, the world's largest airline loyalty program; the award-winning BusinessElite service; and more than 45 Delta Sky Clubs in airports worldwide. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes, check bags and review flight status at delta.com.
SOURCE Delta Air Lines