Pilots in Florida have launched a license plate designed to promote general aviation and raise funds for youth to pursue careers in the aviation industry.
Florida’s Lifted Youth (FLY) is a nonprofit organization founded by Dan Martone. He’s a flight school owner and pilot who is passionate about closing the gaps in the aviation industry and making flight training more accessible, especially for disadvantaged youth.
FLY’s founders have designed a vanity license plate for Floridians and hope to use the funds raised from the sales to create scholarships for children of fallen heroes—those who have lost loved ones who served as military personnel or first responders.
“There are a lot of great kids out there that just simply don’t have the funds or are not in a position because flying is expensive,” said Martone.
The license plate has blue and purple hues with shadows of the state of Florida and an airplane accompanied by the simple and clear message “Learn to fly.”
The plate took nearly three years to get approved through the legislative process. Now it is currently available for preorder.
Interested Floridians can preorder the license plate for $33 online or in person at their local Department of Motor Vehicles location. Three thousand preorders are required before the plates can be printed and shipped out. Florida gives 24 months to reach the vanity plate preorder goal, so FLY has 18 more months to reach its 3,000 license plate goal.
While the organization is starting in Florida, the plan is to grow to bring in more states and give more young folks access to aviation. “The long-term goal is to take it nationwide and have them all connected and have all the funds available for anybody in the U.S.” said Martone. “[It’s] an organization that we hope will continue to grow with time and benefit some people that otherwise wouldn’t have an opportunity to get into aviation.”