Virginia Department of Aviation

Written by Charlie Copeland

The Virginia Department of Aviation (DOAV) is a state-level government organization that plays a pivotal role in the promotion, development, and safety of aviation within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Established to oversee and support the state’s diverse array of public-use airports, DOAV works diligently to ensure the aviation system meets the needs of its citizens and businesses, facilitating economic growth and connectivity across Virginia and beyond.

One of the DOAV's key responsibilities includes the maintenance and enhancement of airport infrastructure. By administering state and federal funding programs, DOAV assists airports in Virginia with critical projects such as runway extensions, terminal renovations, and safety enhancements. These improvements not only foster a safer aviation environment but also augment the airports’ capacity to serve more passengers and accommodate larger aircraft, thus driving economic development.

In addition to infrastructure support, the Virginia Department of Aviation is committed to aviation safety and education. The department conducts safety programs, workshops, and seminars aimed at pilots, airport personnel, and the general aviation community. These initiatives are designed to promote best practices in aviation safety and operations, contributing to a reduction in aviation-related incidents and accidents within the state.

DOAV also plays a central role in aviation education and outreach. Through various programs and partnerships, the department seeks to inspire future generations to pursue careers in aviation. Initiatives include scholarship opportunities, aviation career days, and support for educational institutions offering aviation-related curriculum. These efforts aim to address the industry's growing demand for skilled aviation professionals by fostering a passion for aviation among Virginia's youth.

Another significant aspect of DOAV's work involves supporting aviation businesses and aerospace companies within Virginia. By creating a favorable environment for aviation and aerospace entities to thrive, DOAV contributes significantly to the state's economic vitality. The department's efforts in promoting airport development, improving air service, and attracting aviation-related businesses play a crucial role in strengthening Virginia's position as a leader in the aviation and aerospace sector.

Overall, the Virginia Department of Aviation serves as a vital resource and advocate for the aviation community in Virginia. Through its comprehensive approach to infrastructure support, safety and education initiatives, and economic development efforts, DOAV ensures that Virginia's aviation system remains robust, safe, and poised for future growth.


Willard G. Plentl Sr. Aviation Scholarship Program

Multiple awards worth
Grade Level
High School Senior

Willard G. Plentl Sr. was born in Houston, Texas, and began pilot training in the Army Air Corps in 1942. Mr. Plentl had a successful career as a military pilot that included serving during the Korean War and flying a variety of aircraft from...