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Mon, 02.06.1967

Negro Airmen International is Formed

*Negro Airmen International (N.A.I.) was founded on this date in 1967. N.A.I. helps Americans of African descent to learn about the field of aviation.

Edward Albertis Gibbs and several Trainers of the Tuskegee Airmen were responsible for creating and organizing the N.A.I. and incorporating the organization in New York State in 1967. Many of the present African American Aviation organizations have their roots in N.A.I. Organizations such as the Tuskegee Airmen Inc in 1973, The Organization of Black Airline Pilots in 1976, and Black Pilots of America in 1997.

N.A.I. is dedicated to breaking the "color" barriers in aviation and promoting the participation of African Americans in the aviation industry.   In 2004, The Marion Park Deaver and the Harry Gilbert Deaver Foundation awarded N.A.I. $ 1,200,000 to provide flight training to inner-city young adults who lack funds to attend private flight schools. This is a "first-ever-of-its-kind" project which presently operates in South Florida. It serves as a proof of concept; to allow the creation and operation of such projects elsewhere in the country.

The foundation also provided additional funds to purchase several aircraft and to pay for other capital startup expenses. The award is a challenge grant to pay for one-half of the operating expenses for an initial three-1/2-year trial period. This challenge grant requires N.A.I. to raise funds for the other half of the operating expenses. It creates job opportunities and encourages blacks to go into the field of aviation. N.A.I. is the oldest African American Civilian Aviation Organization in the country. They have grown from a small group of Tuskegee pilots and instructors to a national organization of thirty-one chapters and hundreds of members.

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