It’s in the record books: The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s sixth and last new regional fly-in — seven if you count the heavily-attended Homecoming to AOPA HQ in Frederick, Md. How did it go, this change from one big annual convention? What was gained and what was lost?
On Nov. 4, a ballot initiative to give the Santa Monica City Council more control over operations at Santa Monica Municipal Airport (KSMO) in Southern California was approved by voters, signaling — for some — a death knell for the embattled airport.
Measure LC allows the City Council to manage the airport as it sees fit, including closing all or part of the 227-acre property. The measure, which passed with a 60% margin, mandates that the airport land be used only for parks, open space and recreational facilities until voters can approve land-use guidelines.
It had the backing of several community groups which have been trying to close the airport for years, citing safety concerns and calling the airport a playground for “rich hobbyist pilots.”
At the last Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) regional fly-in of the year, pilots clamored to sign a giant petition calling for reform of the third class medical.
It’s a scene that’s been played out at all the AOPA events throughout the year, association officials say, reporting that more than 10,000 signatures have been garnered since the petition first appeared at SUN ’n FUN. The panel that was at McKinnon St. Simons Island Airport (KSSI) in Georgia was the 10th panel.
“It’s been really popular,” said Steve Hedges, AOPA’s spokesman.
Gray skies didn’t dampen the spirits of those who attended the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association regional fly-in Saturday, Nov. 8, at St. Simons Island, Georgia, at the McKinnon St. Simons Island Airport (KSSI).
AOPA President Mark Baker reported that the regional fly-ins were such a success that 45 airports are now bidding to host next year’s fly-ins. AOPA officials estimate that between 16,000 and 17,000 pilots and aviation enthusiasts attended the regional fly-ins, which were held throughout the country.
A few photos from the show follow, look for more in the Nov. 20 print edition of General Aviation News.
Key general aviation supporters retained their seats in both chambers of Congress in Tuesday’s election, while two incoming elected officials are members of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, officials with AOPA report.
But retirements and election losses will leave the General Aviation Caucuses in both the House and Senate with some rebuilding to do in 2015, AOPA officials add.
A city sponsored ballot initiative — Measure LC — has passed in Santa Monica, Calif., leaving the future of Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO) in the hands of the City Council.
The measure passed with 59% of voters saying “yes” with 90% of precincts reporting Tuesday. At the same time, voters rejected a separate measure — Measure D — that would have given control of the airport’s future to voters.
In response to USA Today’s latest piece about fires in general aviation aircraft, two of GA’s most powerful advocacy groups, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association released statements blasting what they call the “sensationalistic article.”
Two of GA’s top advocacy groups, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) have contributed more than $540,000 to support a ballot measure in Santa Monica, Calif.,, that would halt efforts to shut down the city’s airport (SMO). According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, the campaign measure has raised about $824,000 as of Oct. 22, mostly from aviation-related interests, aircraft owners, businesses and pilots, including actor Harrison Ford, who stores his aircraft at the airport and donated $25,887.