Kent State University to Host NIFA SAFECON Competition
Kent State University (KSU) is slated to host the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) region III SAFECON 2020 Competition. This event will take place October 15 - 24, 2020 at the Kent State Airport.
KSU has not hosted the event for more than a decade, marking 2020 the first year the University has hosted since establishing a brick and mortar facility. The College of Aeronautics and Engineering’s (CAE) FedEx Aeronautics Academic Center will serve as home-base for the competition over the two-week time for teams to practice and compete.
Written tests, events using flight simulators and competition waiting spaces will be indoors, while most events including landings, cross-country, navigation and message drop will take place in each teams’ aircraft flown to the University for the competition.
An opening ceremony and formal awards banquet serve as end caps to the event. The five regional schools scheduled to compete will bring revenue to local hotels and restaurants.
“This is the strongest team I’ve coached,” says George Armann, CAE lecturer and flight team coach. “At the May 2019 National NIFA SAFECON event, the KSU Precision Flight Team won the most improved team in the nation award. This year we will have home field advantage and expect to have a great experience.”
As the host university, Kent State Flight Team students will usher students from other aeronautics programs through CAE laboratories, classroom spaces and the airport. Students will have a sense of pride as they share their home base with peers.
The event is free and open to the public.
The National Intercollegiate Flying Association exists today as a forum for collegiate aviators to expand their studies and further their careers by participating in competitive and non-competitive events, networking with industry and contemporaries, and applying themselves to go above-and-beyond their ordinary curriculum. Its history began almost a century ago.
The NIFA traces its roots to early post-World War I powered flight. Young aviators, returning from the war to their collegiate studies, sought to expand upon and use their training and experience to further the nascent cause of civil aviation. “We, students of Columbia University, being ex-army and navy aviators, have organized the Aero Club of Columbia University,” twelve students declared in their May 1, 1919 petition to the University Secretary. Similar clubs were born in the early days of flight at Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Lehigh, and other universities and colleges across the United States.
On May 7, 1920, nine schools competed at Mitchel Field in the first contest held by the Intercollegiate Flying Association.