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Black Airline Pilots Landing in Seattle.

Business & Calendar Editors, City Desks

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 14, 2003

The Organization of Black Airline Pilots, Inc. (OBAP) will hold its 28th National Convention August 14-16 at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel & Towers.

Alaska Airlines and The Boeing Company are partnering to present this year's convention as title sponsors.

Founded in 1976, OBAP is a national organization of more than 2,500 full and associate members committed to the training, mentoring and hiring of black and other minority pilots. When the organization was founded, only 80 black pilots were employed by the major U.S. passenger and freight airlines. Today that number has grown to more than 1,200, but it still represents only 2 percent of all U.S. pilots.

The convention serves as a way to examine the current state of minorities in aviation, as well as providing a valuable networking opportunity for pilots. In addition to pilot interviews, many participating airlines also set up mentoring programs to track pilot development.

Tickets to the convention and all corresponding events are $200 if purchased before July 11, and $250 up to and during the convention. Tickets for individual events range from $25 to $100.

In conjunction with the August convention, OBAP will also sponsor a series of youth aviation camps in June and July. The Aviation Career Education (ACE) Camps will be held in Anchorage, Portland and Seattle, and are designed to motivate youth aged 14-18 to learn about the aerospace industry. Founded in 1989 by OBAP, the ACE camps have provided more than 1,200 youth with comprehensive training in various aviation disciplines.

The National Black Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees is holding a companion event August 12-15. Its 27th National Training Conference also will take place in Seattle. The NBCFAE, an organization of African-American FAA employees, has partnered with OBAP for the past three years.

In addition to Alaska Airlines and Boeing, Horizon Air -- Alaska's sister carrier -- FedEx, UPS, Delta Airlines, Northwest Airlines and Southwest Airlines have signed on as sponsors for OBAP.

To register for tickets or learn more about OBAP, visit the OBAP Web site at www.obap.org.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 14, 2003
Words:354
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