"Build a mile of road, it takes you a mile out of town … Build a mile of runway, it takes you to the world."

Mark your calendars and celebrate the role of manned flight and aviation in American history this Sunday, Aug. 19, National Aviation Day.

Here in Alaska, where more than 80 percent of communities are only accessible by air year-round, it's a day of special significance.

A few stats to better understand what pilots mean for Alaskans from Ketchikan to Barrow:

This version of the embed code is no longer supported. Learn more: http://vimeo.com/help/faq/embedding

The Alaska Division of Statewide Aviation produced the first of a two-part video series, filmed in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, illustrating aviation's importance to life in the Last Frontier. The video features interviews with Alaska villagers, Alaska bush pilots and rural service providers.

High-five the Alaska pilot in your life this weekend. And if you're in Anchorage, head to the Alaska Aviation Museum between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. for a free poster.

Contact Laurel Andrews at laurel(at)alaskadispatch.com