Groton-New London Airport to celebrate National Aviation Day with annual event

People walk by a UH60 Blackhawk helicopter, center, while taking a look at the aircraft on display outside the 1109th Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group on Aug. 19, 2015, part of Aviation Day activities at Groton-New London Airport. The annual event returns Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
People walk by a UH60 Blackhawk helicopter, center, while taking a look at the aircraft on display outside the 1109th Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group on Aug. 19, 2015, part of Aviation Day activities at Groton-New London Airport. The annual event returns Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018. (Dana Jensen/The Day)

Groton — In conjunction with National Aviation Day, the Groton-New London Airport is holding its fifth annual open house and walking tour on Sunday, with outdoor drone-flying demonstrations as a new attraction.

RC Propbusters and AerialScope are doing the demonstrations, Connecticut Airport Authority spokesperson Alisa Sisic said.

In addition, the Williams School Student Drone Club will have its drone on display. Aerial Imaging Solutions, a new exhibitor this year, will provide information on drone usage for marine biologists and scientific purposes.

The event is organized by the Connecticut Airport Authority, Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce and Mystic Jet Center.

Groton-New London Airport "has a lot to offer to the region and we're proud to showcase it to the community," CAA Executive Director Kevin Dillon said in a news release.

The event, which in the past has attracted more than 500 people, will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The airport is located at 155 Tower Ave.

One of the new exhibitors this year is the Connecticut chapter of the Ninety-Nines, an international organization of female pilots that was founded in 1929.

"There were very few female pilots then and, unfortunately, even in this day and age, there are very few female pilots now," said Amanda Davis, chairwoman of the Connecticut chapter.

The Ninety-Nines display booth will include paper airplanes and coloring pages for kids, as well as handouts and a slideshow for those who may be interested in learning how to fly.

"A lot of times women are afraid to ask these questions of guys," Davis said. "You don't want to seem stupid, you don't want to seem weak." She thinks it can be less intimidating for them to ask questions of other women.

Also new this year, the U.S. Passport Agency will accept applications for passports, with photo services available on-site.

According to the news release, the airport businesses participating in the event this year are Action Airlines, Café 511, Coastal Air Inc., Connecticut Army Reserve National Guard 1109th TASM-G, FAA Pilot Flight Examiner, Lanmar Aviation, Mystic Jet Center and Columbia Air Services, Survival Systems Inc. and U.S. Air Force Auxiliary Civil Air Patrol – Thames River Squadron.

Stacey Ritchotte, customer service manager for Mystic Jet Center, said an employee will talk about the dynamics of flight, discuss careers in aviation, and give a tour of the hangar.

Visitors can buy rides from Bird's Eye View Helicopters, tour the airport's facilities, view aircraft displays and watch simulated presentations.

Aside from airport tenants, the guest exhibitors include ACE Academy, Black Pilots of America, Connecticut Department of Transportation, Connecticut Passport Agency, the Town of Groton Office of Planning & Development Services, New England Air Museum, U.S. Coast Guard and the Town of Stratford, with its Eagle One Police Helicopter.

e.moser@theday.com

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