For Immediate Release
Oakland Aviation Museum Celebrates Asian Pacific Heritage Month
Honoring Asian American aviators throughout history and inspiring the next generation.
Oakland— The Oakland Aviation Museum will be holding a special event to celebrate Asian Pacific Heritage Month. The event will highlight the contributions of Asian American aviators throughout our country’s history, as well as provide opportunities for young people to learn how they can enter the aviation industry.
The Oakland Aviation Museum celebration of Asian Pacific Heritage Month will take place on Saturday, May 18th, from 10 am to 4 pm. The Museum is located at 8252 Earhart Rd, Oakland, CA 94621. Activities occurring for the duration of the event include screenings of short films featuring Asian American aviators, information table and flight simulator by San Jose State University’s Aviation Department, information table by the College of Alameda’s Aviation Maintenance Technology Program, special exhibit featuring Asian American aviators, and children’s activities. A panel discussion “Pathways to Aviation” will be held at noon, featuring Harley Pasiderio, President of the Professional Asian Pilots Association and Major Parawee Euavijitearoon-Baten, US Air Force Maintenance Operations Officer at Travis Air Force Base.
The first person to fly an aircraft on the West coast of the United States was an immigrant from China named Feng Ru. The Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) were the first women to fly for the US military. One of these female trailblazers was Chinese American and East Bay native Maggie Gee. Unfortunately, the achievements of these and numerous other Asian American aviators remain obscured.
At the same time, the aviation industry is facing a severe shortage in qualified professionals. Since 1987 the number of pilots in the United States has decreased by 30% despite a sharp increase in the demand for air travel. Asian Americans are drastically under-represented in the aviation industry, as they represent over 5% of the US population but only about 2.5% of airline transport pilots.
This event will illuminate the history of Asian Americans in the field of aviation and will provide educational opportunities for young people interested in careers in aviation.
Tiffany Miller is organizing this event. She is leading a grassroots effort to have Oakland Airport renamed for Maggie Gee, who trained as a WASP alongside Miller’s grandmother. This would make Oakland Airport the first major US airport named for a woman and the only US airport named for a woman of color.
For more information, press only:Tiffany Miller