AOPA looking for airports to host 2015 regional fly-ins

Following on the success of its 2014 regional fly-ins, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has issued a “Request for Airport Proposal” for its series of regional fly-ins for 2015.

Fly-ins offer AOPA members and the public a chance to gather at a local airport on a Saturday to socialize with fellow pilots and aviation enthusiasts, talk to aviation vendors and view display aircraft, and participate in clinics and educational forums.  Each fly-in also includes a Pilot Town Hall hosted by AOPA President Mark Baker.

“We’ve had a fantastic turnout by our members at our fly-ins this year, with a resounding call for more of the same in 2015,” Baker said. “The airports we’re visiting in 2014 have been great to work with and we are thankful for their support of AOPA and general aviation.  We are now taking what we’ve learned this year and inviting other airports interested in partnering with us to let us know about the opportunities at their fields. I could not be more excited about embarking on another year of engaging with members and the public at some of the best general aviation airports in America.”

Each fly-in 2014 so far has drawn more than 2,000 participants, more than 400 aircraft and 900 vehicles. AOPA has hosted three fly-ins in 2014, with four more scheduled through November.

AOPA’s “Request for Airport Proposal” (RFP) includes both required and desired criteria to help host an AOPA Fly-in. Proposals are due on Sept., 19, 2014. The RFP can be found  at: Fly-in RFP .

AOPA is looking for airports with a minimum of two runways, ample aircraft and automobile parking, event space, a nearby “reliever” airport that can handle overflow airplane traffic, and an active general aviation community from which to draw support and volunteers.

Added benefits include turf areas for aircraft camping, turf runways and available floatplane landing and mooring facilities, availability of on-airport restaurant or other food and beverage options such as local food trucks or mobile caterers, and on-field entertainment such as museums.

So far in 2014 AOPA has hosted fly-ins in San Marcos, Texas, Indianapolis, Ind., and Plymouth, Mass. The fly-ins will continue Aug. 16 at Felts Field Airport (KSFF) in Spokane, Wash., Sept. 20at the Chino, Calif., Airport (KCNO) and Nov. 8 in St. Simons, Ga. (KSSI).

On Oct. 4, AOPA will celebrate its 75th anniversary with a Homecoming Fly-in at its Frederick, Md., headquarters (KFDK).

AOPA is the world’s largest aviation member association, with representatives based in Frederick, Md., Washington, D.C., and seven regions across the United States. AOPA provides member services that range from advocacy at the federal, state, and local levels to legal services, flight planning products, safety programs and award-winning media.


  1. Mitch Latting says

    As I read the AOPA Request for Airport Proposal, minimum criteria, the first topic listed is “non-air carrier airport: not currently regulated under Transportation Security Administration Regulation 49CFR, Part 1542”.

    This TSA Regulation topic rattles my cage like nothing else in our general aviation world!

    What bothers me most as we continue to fight for our precious general aviation freedoms in this country, is we have all come to accept the huge loss of freedom at our general aviation airports, resulting from an extreme over reaction to the Transportation Security Adminstration [TSA] Regulation.

    Regulation 49CFR, Part 1542 specifically states it is not to encumber general aviation. Unfortunately this was not adhered to, at least at my local airports [KSMX and KSBP], and I believe at many, many other general aviation airports with air-carrier service, around the country.

    Implementation interpretation of Part 1542 was left up to individual airport controlling agencies. In our case, instead of simply securing the air-carrier areas, our entire general aviation area [and the entire airport] became the Airport Operation Area [AOA] under control of Part 1542, which means the following has happened:

    1] All general aviation area pedestrian gate codes were removed resulting in no way to return to your aircraft after hours [unless you get let back in by the restaurant maitre de or cocktail waitress, or contact an after hours airport administration person or pay an FBO call out fee, provided any of them even respond]. You can always hop the fence, which will immediately turn you into a federal law breaker!

    2] Vehicle access to our private general aviation hangars are via a special FBI background checked gate card, renewable each year for a small fee. If you don’t pay, you don’t get to your airplane hangar!

    3]. At each vehicle gate, a video camera monitors the entire scene. Should you not wait for the gate to close fully behind you, you are subject to a $25,000.00 fine.

    Ben Franklin would turn over seeing all this take place!!

    With this said, last year AOPA presented its Laurence P. Sharples Perpetual Award to two individuals at Grand Junction, Colorado Airport [KGJT] for their efforts in successfully pulling back the over zealous TSA encumbrances to their airport general aviation areas, redefining the AOA TSA area as it should be.

    The success of these two folks and their organization, is a huge positive precedent which we all [meaning local, state and all national general aviation advocate groups] should work together, using the Grand Junction precedent to begin to regain our freedoms at our airports.

    I am for airport security and security for our private aircraft and hangars. However, this can all be accomplished, as represented by Grand Junction, in a logical manner without encumbrances of the TSA regulations. It CAN obviously be done!

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