The practice of identifying airports for pilots by marking airport names and identifiers that were easily seen from the sky was started as the National Air Marking Program. This program was the first U.S. government program conceived, planned and directed by a woman with an all-woman staff. The program was a part of the Bureau of Air Commerce. The Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of The Ninety-Nines carries on this time-honored tradition by air marking one or two airport taxiways each year under the direction of our Air Marking Chair, Heather Hill. In 2014, we completed one major project and one smaller one. The major project was a full compass rose at Chester County Airport (KMQS), which was a little tricky because we had to adjust the layout a bit. Eighteen chapter members, family, and friends joined forces to re-tape a previous faded compass rose in white and a brilliant blue. Roles were informally assigned; for the most part, the 99s did the taping and painting, and the 49 1/2s managed the paint and equipment distribution and maintenance…it was an efficient process that worked well for us!
Our smaller project was painting the identifier and frequency at Heritage Field (KPTW). Seventeen chapter members, family and friends painted the 20’ letters and 10” numbers in record time, starting at 9:00 and ending by lunchtime. Quick-drying paint makes all the difference!
Our plans are to continue air marking local airports and to help other chapters with their air markings when possible.