“Wings Over Natchitoches is in the enviable position having Northwestern State University as a volunteer resource,” said Stanley Salter, secretary/treasurer, operations manager and coordinator for the annual Natchitoches air show that drew about 3,000 spectators to the 2015 event last September. “The Wings Over Natchitoches Air Show would not be possible without the participation of the City of Natchitoches and Northwestern State University. The cooperative relationship between the City, Wings Over Natchitoches and NSU is remarkable.”
In thanks, Wings Over Natchitoches presented NSU’s First Year Experience and President’s Leadership Program with a $1,500 donation that will be used for leadership development activities and resoures, according to Reatha Cox, FYE and PLP coordinator.
Wings Over Natchitoches is organized by five board members, each with his own area of expertise who are dedicated to the promotion of aviation history, education and careers. The board members fulfill many of the complex duties requires to put on an air show themselves to relieve the event of huge fees. The average price to attend an air show is $20. Wings Over Natchitoches is free, thanks to assistance from the City of Natchitoches, who open the Natchitoches Regional Airport Facility for citizens to enjoy a family-friendly event, Salter said.
In addition to Salter, Board members are Mike Hilton, president/Air Boss; Barry Guillet, vice president, announces and show director; Edd Lee, airport director, and Larry Cooper, airport manager.
“The City has removed all barriers to comply with FAA requirements and to coordinate with police, fire, rescue personnel and crowd facilities,” Salter said. The event also requires a lot of volunteers.
“Over 100 NSU volunteers are filling positions in the parking lot, concessions and support staff to enable a successful event,” Salter said. “Reatha Cox has been instrumental in developing a single point working relationship with Wings Over Natchitoches and it continues to grow while offering benefits to both entities. Organization and efficiency of the show are greatly enhanced through this cooperative endeavor, thanks to NSU.”
Plans for the 2016 air show include a return of crowd favorite performers and the twilight air show and dinner, new attractions, additional parking, easier access and shuttles to accommodate larger crowds.