By STEVE SCHAPIRO
For too long now the aviation community has focused on the question of how to revitalize general aviation. The pilot population has been steadily declining and the costs of flying have been increasing.
There have been programs geared to grow the pilot population, such as the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Young Eagles. A whole new class of aircraft, Light Sport, and a new certificate, Sport Pilot, were created. As good as these programs and efforts may be, the downward trend continues.
All of these efforts were geared toward those who, on some level, were drawn skyward — to those who already want to fly. But what if the answer to strengthening general aviation lies outside the cockpit?
That’s the premise of the 19th Annual New Jersey State Aviation Conference sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Coalition May 2-3 at Princeton University and Alexandria Airport (N85) in Pittstown, N.J.