Aviation Without Borders provides children with special needs the opportunity to discover the world of flying through our annual National Fly kids Day. Each year in June, on a day near the summer solstice, AWB organises an aviation discovery day, or ‘Smiling Wings Day’ as it is affectionately called, where children all over the country, from Aberdeen in the north of Scotland to Jersey in the Channel Islands, are invited to their local airport for the day and are taken on a short flight. AWB works closely with many UK children’s charities, flying clubs and flying organisations that all contribute to the day and together we fly around 400 children.
AWB shares the cost of flying 50/50 with pilot members of participating flying clubs and their contribution is much appreciated. A win-win scenario for all is offered as the pilots fly for half price, AWB flies the kids for half price, the clubs receive the full rental price and the kids fly for free!
Whilst the emphasis is on having fun, the children learn about aircraft and flying, and of course actually enjoy a short flight. Children can experience this exciting day accompanied either by a parent or carer. Our National Fly Kids Day is an extremely popular event and is an enjoyable and sometimes humbling experience for the pilots as well as a great day for the kids. As one child carer remarked, “The contribution of one pilot may not change the world but it can change the world of one special child.”