Virginia Airport Owners Association unites privately-owned airports

A group of private airport owners and aviation enthusiasts recently formed the Virginia Airport Owners Association (VAOA) to address issues concerning privately-owned, private use, airports.

The organization, thought to be the first of its kind in the nation, will provide a united voice for this segment of the aviation industry. There are 226 privately owned, private use airports currently registered in Virginia.

VAOA is being commended by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), and the Virginia Department of Aviation (DOAV) for its efforts to foster the continued growth and development of private airports in Virginia. VAOA is providing networking, communication, security awareness and economic opportunities for airport owners and aviation enthusiasts throughout the state.

“The purpose of the VAOA is to become the recognized voice for all issues concerning privately-owned airports within the state,” said John Mazza Jr., president of the VAOA.
Future plans include ensuring that local and state governments understand the value of privately owned airports. The VAOA also will work to streamline the zoning process of new, privately owned airports as well as work to ensure that neighbors of privately owned airports understand the operations and value of the airports,” he said.

“The creation of the VAOA is a great opportunity for the aviation community. It will improve communications between this segment of aviation and DOAV,” said Randy Burdette, director of DOAV. “It will allow us to work together to promote a safer and more secure aviation system for the citizens of the Commonwealth.”

For more information, contact Mazza at 804-526-7665, Kevin Murray, treasurer, at 540-297-6754 or e-mail


  1. Ken Franks says

    The Airfield Owners Association (AOA) was chartered in Tennesse in January 1999 as a non-profit organization of privately owned airfields. There are 39 member airfields in our membership. Our members are mostly in the southern middle Tennessee area. We earlier considered expanding to the entire state, but logistically, it would be difficult and expensive.

    In the past we have been active in opposing a proposed Class B airspace for the Nashville area. We have actively lobbied the TN legislature in an effort to change the tort laws on the level of financial exposure of the airfield owners when allowing the use of their airfields. We organized an effort to provide the Life-Flight companies use of our airfields, if needed.

    We actively conduct activities and training sessions in an effort to train the members and the public on the operational use and benefits of a private restrictive airfield.
    Ken Franks
    T-Top Airfield (TN14)

  2. Tom Hempstead says

    This is nothing short of a great idea! What are chances of getting this concept pursued regionally or even nationally?

  3. James Goolsby says

    This one done in Florida some 15 years ago, when Florida had a aviation department that tried to impose new side slope clearance rules on runways at private airports. The number of people that showed up in the capital on a hearing put a stop to that and eventuality all private airport inspections were dropped.

    With that department out of business this association eventfully died out. Simple answer. Get rid of the bureaucracy – get rid of the problems.

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