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Aviation Art Contest Rules

Ellis Gibson of North Buncombe Elementary School in Weaverville created this first-place winnning entry in the intermediate category in 2024.

The annual North Carolina Aviation Art Contest offers all children ages 6-17 who live or attend school in North Carolina the chance to explore different aspects of aviation.

The contest theme for 2024 was “Air Sports for a Peaceful World." 

Contest Requirements



All children who live in and/or attend school in North Carolina and are in the age groups below are encouraged to participate. Children who are related to officials and employees of the N.C. Department of Transportation are eligible to participate.

Age Groups

Age Range
Date of birth between Jan. 1, 2014, and Dec. 31, 2017
Date of birth between Jan. 1, 2010, and Dec. 31, 2013
Date of birth between Jan. 1, 2006, and Dec. 31, 2009

Additional information is available on the website of the National Association of State Aviation Officials.


The required format is 11¾ x 16½ inches (paper size A3) or, if this is unobtainable, the nearest possible equivalent. Artwork must NOT be framed or outlined with borders.


All artwork must be by hand (or, in the case of children with physical challenges, by foot or mouth).

Permitted Media

  • Watercolor
  • Acrylic
  • Oil paint
  • Indelible marker pens
  • Felt-tip pens
  • Soft ballpoint pens
  • Indelible ink
  • Crayon
  • Other similar indelible medium

Prohibited Media

  • Pencil
  • Colored pencil
  • Charcoal or other non-permanent medium
  • Computer-generated artwork
  • Collage work involving the use of photocopies


A title on the artwork is not required, and entrants can decide for themselves whether to include one. However, there should be a clearly recognizable link to the theme of the content.


To improve chances of placing, please be mindful of the following when submitting contest entries:

  • Submissions should adequately address the contest's theme.
  • Ensure that paint has dried before mailing.

  • Do not fold your artwork if possible.

  • Do not use glitter.

  • Ensure that your Certificate of Authenticity​ is complete and legible.

  • Artwork should be wholly original creations of the student with absolutely NO assistance provided by the teacher or parent.

  • Electronic submissions are not accepted. The original artwork must be mailed to NCDOT.

  • Artwork should be completed. Do not submit incomplete artwork.

  • Artwork should not use prohibited media (see contest rules).

  • Entries cannot include copyrighted material, such as Disney, Marvel, or Star Wars characters.

  • Parents and teachers should also encourage students to create their own individual artwork and not draw the same thing to avoid submissions that are too similar.
  • If the orientation of the artwork is not apparent, write “Top” or “Bottom” on the back of the artwork.

  • If your paper or canvas is significantly larger than 11 ¾ x 16 ½ inches, cut it down to the proper size.


The artist's name should not appear on the front of the artwork. The following information should be clearly shown on the back of the artwork:

  • Family name, given name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Country of residence
  • Name and address of school
  • Title of the artwork (if desired)


A parent, guardian or art teacher must certify the authenticity of the artwork and the age of each artist. The Certificate of Authenticity​ must be completed and mailed with the artwork.

Reproduction Rights

Once received, all entries will become and remain the properties of the N.C. Department of Transportation Division of Aviation and may be used for a variety of purposes.

Artwork that does not place at the national level may be returned if the student or school provides the adequate return postage and package. Artwork forwarded for international judging becomes the property of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale; however, FAI will try to return the original artwork.


State Awards

Entries in each age group will be judged, and state winners and runners-up will be selected. The top three entries in each age group will be forwarded to Washington, D.C.,​ to be judged in the national competition.

The North Carolina Airports Association will present the following awards to state winners:

Age Group
First Place
Second Place
Third Place

In addition to the individual awards, the winners' schools will receive a prize:

  • First Place: $100
  • Second Place: $75
  • Third Place: $50

National Awards

First-, second- and third-place national winners will be selected from each age group. All national winners will receive certificates, ribbons and a framed reproduction of their artwork.

International Awards

The first-, second- and third-place winners in each age group will be forwarded to Fédération Aéronautique Internationale Headquarters in Switzerland for international judging. Winners of the international competition will receive certificates and gold, silver or bronze medals.


The North Carolina Aviation Art Contest is sponsored by the N.C. Department of Transportation Division of Aviation and the North Carolina ​Airports Association.

2/26/2024 3:04 PM