What is the NAA

About the National Aeronautic Association

The dreamers and doers who looked to the sky now have a path to the stars.

The Who

The NAA is America’s Aero Club.
When the National Aeronautic Association began, the world was just beginning to understand that humans were no longer tethered to the Earth.

The dreamers and doers built the NAA.
As the nation’s first national aviation organization, many influential aviators built the foundations of NAA, including Wilbur and Orville Wright, Glenn Curtiss, Olive Beech, Charles Lindbergh, and Jackie Cochran. As the NAA grows, aviation’s best continue to play a role in our future, such as Eileen Collins, Burt and Dick Rutan, and Patty Wagstaff.

Today, leaders in Air Sports, Business and General Aviation, and all aeronautic fields continue to influence and build a vision for NAA’s future, such as U.S. Air Sport teams, Colleen Barrett, Marion Blakey, Charlie Bolden, and Ross Perot, Jr.

The What

The NAA takes our mission to heart.
The NAA is a federally recognized 501c3 whose mission is to oversee the advancement of the art, sport, and science of aviation and space flight. The NAA achieves this by fostering opportunities to participate fully in aviation activities and promoting public understanding of the importance of aviation and space flight in the United States.

Our purpose is that we:

  • Develop opportunities to strengthen mutual objectives of the NAA’s corporate members, Air Sports organizations, affiliate, and institutional members, and regional aero club members, as well as aid in the formation of affiliated aero clubs in U.S. cities where such organizations do not now exist;
  • Represent U.S. aviation throughout the world as the U.S. National Air Sport Control (NAC) of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale;
  • Encourage, coordinate, document, and promote competition and record-making aviation and space events following the rules prescribed by the FAI;
  • Recognize and reward those who make outstanding contributions to the advancement of aviation and space flight through presentations of awards and other honors;
  • Endorse sound national programs and other efforts designed to help the U.S. remain a leader in aviation and space flight;
  • Support and encourage aviation and space education programs;
  • Promote and encourage public participation in and appreciation of U.S. aviation and space activities.

The Where and Why

When the NAA first began, it had its roots planted firmly on the ground.

In the early years of the 20th century, aviation was fascinating. Untouchable to most, the people who could engage in the pursuit were the wealthiest Americans of that time, like the Vanderbilts, Gliddens, and Dodges, many of whom belonged to the Automobile Club of America. This group first chose to branch out into the fledgling aviation field in 1905, founding the Aero Club of America (ACA).

The ACA’s first goal was to promote aviation in any way possible as both a sport and a commercial endeavor. From its founding until 1922, the ACA grew in vision and scope and counted many successes in building aviation, including issuing all pilot licenses. In that year, a change was needed to accommodate the expanding business of the ACA, and the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) was incorporated as the Aero Club’s successor. The NAA continued the original group’s mission, including issuing all pilot’s licenses until the Civil Aeronautics Act of 1926.

While the Aero Club of America was based in New York City, the NAA is based in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., where we continue to serve the same mission set forth by the best of the best in aeronautics.

Our vision is to:

  • Drive excellence with recognition, including through contests, awards, and trophies.
  • Sanction and bestow authority to Americans representing the best in International Air Sports.
  • Promote and foster appreciation for the art of flying and strengthen the aerospace business.
  • Encourage the study, establishment, and deeper understanding of the science of aeronautics in all forms to encourage inventions and improvements in the field and across the industry.
  • Assist in ensuring a sustainable and reliable aviation system.

Interested in even more NAA history?

Check out our First 1oo Years.

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