The U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission, hereinafter referred to as the Centennial of Flight Commission, was established by the Centennial of Flight Commemoration Act (the Act), Public Law 105 - 389, November 13, 1998, as amended by Public Law 106 - 68, October 6, 1999. Congress' intent was to expand the national and international interest in the Wright brothers' achievement. The Centennial of Flight Commission has the following mission:
The Centennial of Flight Commission is charged by Congress with playing the leading role in coordinating and publicizing public activities celebrating the achievements of Wilbur and Orville Wright and commemorating a century of powered flight.
As an organization, the Centennial of Flight Commission has the following three goals: (1) harmonize and enhance all efforts to celebrate and commemorate the centennial of powered flight; (2) increase public understanding of the Wright brothers' achievements as a triumph of American ingenuity, inventiveness and diligence in developing new technologies that help define the American century; and (3) engage the interest of the American public and the world in the 100 year history of flight.
To achieve the goals outlined by the Act, the Centennial of Flight Commission was provided explicitly and implicitly with the following duties. The Centennial of Flight Commission is to provide recommendations and advice to the President, Congress and federal agencies on the most effective ways to encourage and promote national and international participation and sponsorships in commemoration of the centennial of powered flight. The Centennial of Flight Commission also is to provide recommendations and advice on the most effective ways to plan and develop, in coordination with the First Flight Centennial Commission and the First Flight Centennial Foundation of North Carolina, and Inventing Flight: Dayton 2003 of Ohio, programs and activities that are appropriate to commemorate the 100th anniversary of powered flight.
Section 12 of the Act also provides for the establishment of the First Flight Centennial Federal Advisory Board. The Board is composed of 19 members, five of whose positions are included by statute, and 14 other U.S. citizens meeting various statutory criteria. Of these fourteen positions, six are appointed by the President of the U.S., four by the Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate and four by the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. This Board has been formally chartered and held its first meeting August 9, 2001 under the chairmanship of Dr. Tom Crouch, Senior Curator for Aeronautics at the National Air and Space Museum.
The Advisory Board shall offer advice and counsel to the Centennial of Flight Commission on matters related to the Act, including but not restricted to: (1) effectively applying Centennial of Flight Commission resources in order to achieve the goals established in the Act; (2) formulating recommendations to Congress and the Executive Branch on how to best promote national awareness of the commemoration of the centennial of powered flight and the achievements of the Wright brothers; (3) increasing the visibility of centennial activities; and (4) identifying ways in which individuals and organizations can be encouraged to participate in the centennial commemoration.
At the first meeting of the Advisory Board on August 9, 2001, it was requested by Board members that a "National Plan" be developed and submitted for their review.
On April 6, 2001, the Centennial of Flight Commission and the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park hosted a meeting at Shepherdstown, W. Va., of those organizations actively planning Centennial of Flight commemoration activities. A review of each organization's plans made it clear that numerous events were being planned for 2003 and that a "National Plan" for coordinating these events was necessary if the Centennial of Flight Commission was going to be successful in meeting its legislative mandate. The consensus of the group was for the Centennial of Flight Commission to take the lead in producing this National Plan for the commemoration with input from all of those who were involved in planning for the centennial year. The National Plan will be instrumental in ensuring the Centennial of Flight Commission will accomplish its task of creating a national and international awareness of the Wright brothers and their accomplishments, and it will provide support to the individual organizations producing various events and programs associated with the celebration in their specific, regional locations. One of the continuing challenges facing the Centennial of Flight Commission in preparing this National Plan is ensuring all events and organizations associated with the Centennial of Flight commemoration are included in this document. It is anticipated there will be changes and adjustments made to the National Plan, but it is expected those will be relatively minor in nature.
National Plan Concept
This National Plan is being developed by the Centennial of Flight Commission to provide the following information:
The National Plan also will identify the common areas of activity including the following:
most of the activities to be undertaken come from organizations other than the
Centennial of Flight Commission, and the role of the Centennial of Flight Commission
with regards to this National Plan is to present the work of those organizations
in such a way that it conveys the national scope and breadth of the Centennial
of Flight commemoration. As such, each organization will be directly responsible
for its success in implementing this National Plan.
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