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Director’s Chair: Aviation Hall of Fame Updates

November 22, 2022 13:51 | Anonymous

I am excited to announce some major enhancements that have recently been made to the North Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame. Last spring, our office met with individuals from the Bismarck Air Museum Foundation and was informed that the group had made the decision to no longer pursue the establishment of a facility in Bismarck. They made the decision to donate the remainder of their funds to a project that would enhance aviation history, and the North Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame was the avenue that was chosen. I want to thank the Bismarck Air Museum Foundation for the donation and further commend them for their multi-year effort to preserve North Dakota’s history. 

After this meeting, the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission (NDAC) staff collaborated with the North Dakota Aviation Association (NDAA) to discuss options that could be considered for improvements to the Aviation Hall of Fame. It was decided that an investment would be made into new software, which would be able to house the information, pictures, and videos of our hall of fame inductees. This software was developed and is now available to access from the Hall of Fame portion of the NDAA’s website at www.fly-nd.com.

Additionally, a kiosk was purchased to house the software and further enhance the physical location of the North Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame, which is situated next to the ticket counter of the lower level at the Bismarck Airport Terminal. A new electrical hookup was provided from assistance from the Bismarck Airport and now the kiosk is a fully operational centerpiece of the room. Past visitors to the Hall of Fame have only been able to view and read the information included within each inductee’s plaque. Now, this new interactive kiosk will enhance the experience by allowing people to further dive into the history of each Hall of Famer, where pictures and videos are available. We hope that in the future, similar kiosks can be installed at our North Dakota Aviation Museums and Commercial Service Airports to help promote our state’s proud aviation history and heritage. 

In our efforts to continually improve the Aviation Hall of Fame experience, I also want to announce that if you have pictures or videos of hall of famers that were inducted prior to 2009, we could use your help. North Dakota’s Aviation Hall of Fame was established in 1996 and currently honors 47 individuals. In 2012, we began an initiative to develop a video production for each Hall of Fame candidate and we are currently working behind the scenes with the University of North Dakota’s Aerospace Network to develop additional video materials for past hall of fame inductees. We currently have 17 videos that have been produced of the most recent hall of fame inductees. We are interested in gathering information on hall of famers that do not have current videos or pictures beyond the individual’s headshot. If you happen to have media files of past Hall of Famers that you would be willing to provide to us, please reach out to the NDAC by giving us a call at 701-328-9650 or e-mailing us at ndaero@nd.gov. 

Additionally, we want to make known that opportunities also exist to create scholarship endowments to honor any of our hall of fame inductees, while also helping to assist the next generation of aviators. We would enjoy working with any interested individuals that would like to help find a way to continue to share and preserve the history and heritage of these amazing individuals.

Lastly, I invite you to spend some time to view the recent enhancements to the Hall of Fame, whether in person or online at www.fly-nd.com. It’s important to set aside some time to learn more about the incredible aviators that have paved the way so that all of us are able to utilize, participate, and enjoy our current aviation system.


Wishing you smooth flying, Kyle

Kyle Wanner, Director

North Dakota Aeronautics Commission

701-328-9650 | kcwanner@nd.gov


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North Dakota Aviation Association

(701) 223-3184
PO Box 7370
Bismarck, ND 58507

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