Sat, Jun 15th, 2024


Join Us for Airport Community Day at Ithaca Tompkins International Airport and Help Solve the National Pilot Shortage!

ithaca tompkins international airport 5k run to raise funds for pilot training

The impact of the national pilot shortage has been felt by travelers across the country, resulting in increased ticket prices and reduced regional carrier options. At Ithaca Tompkins International Airport (ITH), we are taking action to combat this shortage by hosting Airport Community Day and the Runway 5K on September 17, 2023, for the first time since 2019. Join us in Ithaca, NY, and support our efforts to address the pilot shortage!

Read on to learn: 

  • What is Airport Community Day?
  • Donate to support flight training programs
  • What is the airline pilot shortage?
  • Join us for Airport Community Day

ITH is proud to serve the local area through Airport Community Day. We hope to raise enough funds to give pilots access to crucial flight training programs!

What is Airport Community Day?

Airport Community Day is a cherished event that brings our local community together to celebrate aviation and learn more about our airport. It’s an opportunity to support crucial flight training programs for aspiring pilots.

Join the Runway 5K:

Kickstart the day with our exciting Runway 5K! Runners of all ages can compete on ITH’s runway, and the fastest male and female runners overall will win $250 travel vouchers toward airfare from ITH. 

Pre-registration tickets for $25 are available until September 5 and include a special Runway 5K T-shirt. Day-of tickets are $30 and are available from 7 AM–7:45 AM. Free parking is available in the airport terminal’s short-term parking lot.

Airport Community Day Events & Logistics

  • Day-of 5K Runway Registration: 7 AM to 7:45 AM
  • 5K Runway Start: 8 AM
  • Pancakes Breakfast hosted by East Hill Flying Club: 7 AM to 1 PM
  • Additional family-friendly activities

Even if you’re not a runner, there will be plenty of festivities to keep you and your family entertained. Come enjoy the fun, including delicious pancakes!

Donate to Support Flight Training Programs

All proceeds from Airport Community Day and the Runway 5K will go toward East Hill Flying Club’s scholarship fund, supporting aspiring pilots in attending flight training programs. Our goal is to raise $50,000 through Runway 5K registrations and donations to combat the airline pilot shortage.


You can support the cause by donating directly to the scholarship fund.


Explore our sponsorship opportunities with Bronze, Silver, and Gold sponsorship packages, providing companies with a chance to connect with and support the local community. 

For information regarding sponsorship opportunities, contact Maddie Ulrich at

What Is the Airline Pilot Shortage?

The airline pilot shortage has been fueled by layoffs and early retirements during the pandemic travel ban. As restrictions lifted and travel demand increased, airlines struggled to keep up with the demand.

Consulting firm Oliver Wyman estimated a shortage of approximately 17,000 pilots in North America in 2023, projected to grow to 24,000 by 2026. This shortage is primarily due to the impending retirement wave as older pilots reach mandatory retirement age. About half of North American airline pilots are over 50 years old.

Despite more aggressive pilot recruitment, airlines are having a hard time closing the gap, and future pilots are limited by access to flight training programs.

The impact on travelers is significant, with reduced flight options to smaller cities and regional airports, and increased ticket prices to compensate for the shortage. The airline industry requires our support! The national pilot shortage has severely impacted the airline industry, and they need our support!

Join Us for Airport Community Day

Whether you’re an avid runner aiming for the top prize or simply want to support pilots in need, we invite you to join us for a fun-filled day of food, prizes, and family activities!

ITH is proud to dedicate Airport Community Day to help solve the airline pilot shortage. Through our local pilot scholarship fund, we aim to provide greater access to essential flight training programs and foster the growth of pilots.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to make a difference and be part of Airport Community Day at Ithaca Tompkins International Airport. Mark your calendars for September 17, 2023, and help us tackle the national pilot shortage together!

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