Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Civilian Aviation Chaplains

A comment on my Church Logos posting (April 15, 2009) has taught me that the logo used in Charlotte's airport chapel (the kneeling figure) is actually the symbol of the International Association of Aviation Chaplains (IACAC). The first airport chapel opened at Boston's Logan airport in 1951. The IACAC convened in 1967 in Brussels as an official organization overseeing chapels throughout the world. IACAC's website includes a complete list.

The chapels in the United States number to 43: Albuquerque, Atlanta/Hartsfield, Boston/Logan, Brownwood Texas, Charlotte/Douglas, Chicago/Midway, Chicago/O'Hare, Chicago Waukegan, Cincinnati/North Kentucky, Cleveland/Hopkins, Corpus Christi, Dallas-Fort Worth, Dallas Love Field, Denver, Detroit Metropolitan, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Houston/Intercontinental, Houston/Hobby, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Miami, Minneapolis/St Paul, Newark, New Orleans, New York/John F Kennedy, New York/LaGuardia, Orlando, Pasadena/Baltimore Washington, Phoenix/Sky Harbor, Pittsburgh, Raleigh Durham, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Francisco, San Jose, Sarasota, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, Seattle/Seatac, St Louis, Syracuse NY, Tampa, Washington DC-Dulles, Washington DC National. I am not sure if all chapels are easily accessible. I've searched in vain for a chapel in Albuquerque's airport, although it's listed.

As the IACAC logo indicates, the chaplaincy is interdenominational. An study of all the airport chapels should give interesting evidence of the accutrements of various religions expressed in each space. Most of the airport chapels I have visited have strong Christian iconographies, but there is commonly a prayer mat and a compass to direct towards Mecca for Muslim services.

See earlier Airport Chapel postings here.

1 comment:

Julia said...

We now have a group devoted to Airport Chapels on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/groups/airportchapels/

According to the caption of at least one of the photos, the Albuquerque chapel is located next to the baggage claim area.

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Kostis Kourelis

Philadelphia, PA, United States