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2020 Aviation Outreach and Education Program

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Aeronautics Division restructured the Aviation Outreach and Education Program and associated grant funding application process in 2019  to better promote, prioritize, and fund Aviation Outreach and Education Programs in Tennessee.  The primary focus of the Aviation Outreach and Education Program restructuring and process improvement initiative was the program grant funding application process.  The restructuring resulted in a broad, diverse and competitive round of applications for the FY20 funding cycle.  Out of twenty-three applications ten high-quality Aviation Outreach and Education programs located throughout the state were selected to receive grant funding for FY20.

Click here for 2020 Education and Outreach Awards

Promotion of the aviation field in Tennessee is primary objective of the Aviation Outreach and Education Program and the updated program application requires applicants to specifically identify how the prospective Aviation Outreach and Education Program intends to influence Tennesseans to pursue aviation education, careers, activities, and more in the state.  The revised application requires that each applicant describe in detail the type of program for which the applicant is requesting funding along with the program’s targeted population, location, dates, and purpose.  In addition, each applicant is required to outline in detail how the program will promote aviation in the state, the goals and objectives of the program, and the aviation subject area or areas that will be addressed during the program.  An additional requirement of the application process is the use of performance measures to determine if the program is meeting its stated goals, objectives, and aviation impacts.  Finally, applicants are required to provide detailed justification of why the applicant requires funding from TDOT Aeronautics Division for the proposed program.

The FY21 program grant application begins September 2020 and each applicant is required to submit their application by the deadline established for the program funding cycle for consideration in the FY21 program selection and funding cycle.  The program application submission date, application review date, and award date for the FY21 Aviation Outreach and Education Program selection cycle is located at the bottom of the page.


Program Overview

 The Tennessee Department of Transportation Aeronautics Division – Aviation Education and Outreach Program is a competitive 100% reimbursable grant program for nonprofits, local governments, educational institutions and private entities working to advance aviation and aeronautics related education, career fields and industry throughout Tennessee.

All programs and associated grant awards must demonstrate anticipated program outcomes promoting
aviation education, aviation industry growth, aviation workforce related training, or expansion of aviation outreach/community engagement.

What is the grant contract period?

The grant contract period is 12 months.  An review and evaluation of program outcomes will follow the grant contract period to close the project and associated funding grant.

How much funding can an organization apply for?

 There is no limitation on project funding request amounts, however the total funding allocated for the FY20 Aviation Education and Outreach Program is limited to $200,000.  Programs selected for funding in FY20 must demonstrate the characteristics of well-planned and detailed budget requests, financial needs statements, year-over-year program sustainability, broad funding support/sources for larger projects, and fiscally lean program operations.

Additional Program and Grant Considerations

  •  The grant application must be submitted and administered by the sponsoring nonprofit organization, local government, educational entity or private business entity. 
  • Local aviation industry and educational partnerships and collaborative work is highly encouraged. 
  • The Aviation Education and Outreach Grant is a reimbursable grant program.  A reimbursable grant program means that the grant recipient spends the grant funds as agreed upon in the application budget line items for eligible activities; submits respective receipts and other documentation to TDOT Aeronautics Division for review and grant recipient reimbursement.
  • Participating organizations will be required to submit proper documentation of all grant expenditures.  Failure to follow TDOT and State specified uses or accounting requirements may result in loss of program participation and/or funding. 
  • All expenditures must take place within the timeframe of the grant period as designated by the grant contract.
  • Education program applicants are strongly encouraged to align their curriculum with approved State and Federal Aviation curriculum. 

Who can apply for program funding?

Local governments, educational institutions and and other public entities.  No applications from private entities or individuals will be considered.  Projects must be based on aviation or aeronautics related educational opportunities or outreach events for Tennesseans.  Additional consideration will be given to sustainable Education and Outreach Programs that are comprehensive, innovative, and leverage broad partnerships across organizations and education levels.  Non-public entities who wish to participate will need to do so through a partnership with a eligible public entitiy (i.e. partner with a public school/government).    

What are eligible program purposes or activities?  (Examples include, but are not limited to):

  • New or expanded aviation-related education programs focusing on any facet of aeronautics to include, but are not limited to: 
    • Drones and associated Remote Sensing Technology
    • Rockets and Rocketry
    • Introduction to Aerospace (General)
    • Introduction to Careers in Aviation
    • Introduction to Aviation Flight (Rotary/Fixed Wing Aircraft Piloting)
    • Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) Mechanics
    • Introduction to Aeromechanical Engineering
    • Introduction to Air Traffic Control
    • Flight simulation training equipment, software purchases, licenses, installation, and support.
  • Programs or outreach activities providing skills development training for roles or occupations related to aviation workforce needs.
  • Aviation teachers workshops and associated aviation curriculum development.
  • Facilities or venue space accessible by the public which is dedicated in significant part or in whole to aviation or aviation industry advancement or workforce training, career/industry exploration, equipment resources, industry-related events or more.
  • Prominent regional, statewide or national interactive aviation education or outreach events of note.
  • Matching portions for secured relevant local, federal or philanthropic grants supporting aviation sector education resources, programs, activities or industry sector development.
  • Aviation sector skills development growth or skills acceleration programs.

Ineligible Costs or Projects:

  • Non-budget line item program/organization operating expenditures.
  • Organization facilities management/maintenance.
  • Office Supplies and associated non-budget line item expendables.
  • Broad organizational operating costs to include insurance, medical, accounting, legal fees, or administrative salaries.
  • Prizes or prize money, scholarships, awards, plaques, training certifications, t-shirts, uniforms, or any other promotional items.

TDOT Aeronautics Division reserves the right to deny any project expenditures that are inconsistent with the approved program budget or program goals.  If a program sponsor has any questions regarding cost or program reimbursement eligibility, please contact the Aviation Education and Outreach Program Manager, Ms. Alex Bagwell at

Application Period

The application receipt deadline was midnight October 15th, 2019.  All awards must be committed and contracted no later than January 28th, 2020.  See timeline below.

Program and Grant Application Scoring Matrix

  • Executive Summary/Program Overview & Overall Application Completeness and Quality (Max 5 Points)
  • Goals and Objectives of Program (Max 10 Points)
  • Expected Program Outcomes/Impact (Max 15 Points)
  • Program Implementation Strategy/Program Planning (Max 15 Points)
  • Consistency with Local Need/Community Impact (Outreach Program or Adherence to Codified Curriculum (Education Program) (Max 10 Points)
  • Ability to Measure and Quantify Project Outcomes (Max 20 Points)
  • Program Sustainability (Max 10 Points)
  • Program Budget and Schedule (Max 15 Points)


Submit an email with your program concept or proposal prior to submitting your grant/program application.  Include a brief paragraph describing the project or program, estimated budget, geographic area that will be served, and your contact information.  Email the proposal to the Aviation Education and Outreach Program Manager, Mr. Brian Fedders at with “Aviation Education and Outreach Program – Intent to Apply” in the subject line.


Please email the Aviation Education and Outreach Program Manager, Ms. Alex Bagwell at  with “Aviation Education and Outreach Program - Request for Information” in the subject line.

Submission Cut Off Date
October 15, 2019

Review Date
December 17, 2019

Grant Award Date
January 14, 2020

If you have any questions about the application process or the program, please contact the Aviation Education and Outreach Program Manager  Ms. Alex Bagwell at or (615) 770-6973.