Through National Flight Academy, Delta Air Lines Deepens Commitment to Inspiring Students to Engage in STEM

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More than 400 students will have the opportunity to attend the National Flight Academy's Ambition program through Delta’s sponsorship.

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We know the importance of engaging more students in science, technology, engineering and math to generate tomorrow’s STEM-ready workforce in aviation.

The National Flight Academy (NFA) is proud to announce Delta Air Lines as its sponsor of the Quarterdeck entrance for the next five years. Delta Air Lines’ logo is displayed on the Quarterdeck of the National Flight Academy, where it will be viewed by more than 10,000 students, parents and visitors each year.

In addition, for the fourth consecutive year, Delta Air Lines — the “Official Airline of the National Flight Academy,” is sponsoring enrollment for hundreds of students in the NFA’s AMBITION program. This year more than 400 students will attend in June 2017, more than the previous three years combined. Attendees consist of children and grandchildren of Delta employees and students from Delta’s community partners, including organizations like Junior Achievement, Aviation high schools and 100 Black Men of America chapters, who select children to represent their respective organizations.

“Just like the NFA, Delta is committed to igniting an educational spark in students,” said Capt. Steve Dickson, senior vice president of flight operations for Delta Air Lines. “We know the importance of engaging more students in science, technology, engineering and math to generate tomorrow’s STEM-ready workforce in aviation.”

“We are very proud to share this common goal with the NFA as we invest in the next generation through this one-of-a-kind immersive program,” Dickson furthered.

This year, students ranging from 7th – 12th grades will come from all over the United States, Latin America and Mexico to participate in the NFA’s renowned AMBITION program — an interactive, fun-filled, aviation-themed experience.

Attendees, or “AMBITION Experimental Pilots” (AXPs), live aboard AMBITION, a state-of-the art program housed onboard a 102,000-square-foot virtual aircraft carrier. The aviation-based adventure weaves STEM learning objectives with important 21st century skills including critical thinking, problem solving, leadership development and effective communication.

AXPs plan missions with ultramodern and advanced technology as well as learn to fly in networked aircraft, eat on mess decks, sleep in staterooms and receive mission briefings in six fully-electronic ready rooms. Additionally, they experience different areas aboard the virtual carrier, including the Mess Deck, Join Intelligence Center, Joint Operations Center, Berthing Spaces and Hangar Bay.

“Delta is a great example of a company investing in an innovative program that will positively affect the future of young people,” said retired Marine Lt. Gen. Duane Thiessen, president of the National Flight Academy. “Together, we are able to have a positive impact on a large group of students.”

Steve Hayes, president of Visit Pensacola, welcomes first-time and returning visitors brought by Delta Air Lines to the Pensacola Bay Area.

“We applaud Delta and the NFA's commitment to inspiring children's interest in STEM, and we encourage these students and their families to take full advantage while here of everything else Pensacola has to offer — our history, culture, top-ranked beaches and, of course, the National Naval Aviation Museum, which brings in almost one million visitors per year," said Hayes.


About the National Flight Academy
The National Flight Academy, located in Pensacola, Fla., aboard Naval Air Station Pensacola, is designed to address the serious concerns of declining Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills and standards in our country. The Academy’s mission is to inspire students who subsequently return to their parent schools and seek out the more challenging courses in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

The NFA is a self-supporting, tuition-based educational program. We welcome support from individuals, corporations and foundations for both our scholarship program and general operation funds.

For more information about the National Flight Academy, visit or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines serves more than 180 million customers each year. In 2017, Delta was named to Fortune’s top 50 Most Admired Companies in addition to being named the most admired airline for the sixth time in seven years. Additionally, Delta has ranked No.1 in the Business Travel News Annual Airline survey for an unprecedented six consecutive years. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 323 destinations in 57 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs more than 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 800 aircraft. The airline is a founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance and participates in the industry’s leading transatlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia as well as a joint venture with Virgin Atlantic. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 15,000 daily flights, with key hubs and markets including Amsterdam, Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-JFK and LaGuardia, London-Heathrow, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City, Seattle and Tokyo-Narita. Delta has invested billions of dollars in airport facilities, global products and services, and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground. Additional information is available on the Delta News Hub, as well as, Twitter @DeltaNewsHub,, and


Please contact Malerie Shelton, Director of Marketing & Public Relations, via email at for more information.


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Katie King

Malerie Shelton