An association dedicated to pilots and families with a passion for flying and camping — the American Air Campers Association (AACA) — has taken off.
Fostered by long-time pilot Don Abbott, this new association is the fulfillment of a dream to promote, protect and preserve the combined freedoms of flying and camping in America. “Until now, there has been no organization to lobby for the rights of air campers and ensure that airports will continue to offer on-field camping facilities,” says Abbott. “Our association will work in harmony with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), Recreational Aviation Foundation (RAF), and other organizations that mirror our goals.”
“My love for air camping started when my 6-year-old daughter and I would fly a two-place Cessna to a grass landing strip in the middle of a state park, pitch a tent and go hiking,” Abbott recalls. “The passion for air camping has stayed with me ever since.”
To confirm that others share his enthusiasm, Abbott conducted a survey of more than 20,000 pilots to assess interest in the association. Feedback was extremely supportive with more than 90% of those responding saying that they would become AACA members. Membership benefits reflect those rated “most valued” by the thousands of survey respondents.
“We offer our members the most complete on-line airport camp guide available and provide a support network for air campers to exchange their experiences, ideas and helpful information,” says Abbott. “Our members will be able to participate in regional air camping adventures, and annual East & West Air Camping Jamborees. At the request of many of those surveyed, we also research and offer the best lightweight, low volume, durable gear suited specifically to air camping.“
AACA’s official launch will take place at the Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Florida, April 13 through 18. AACA will set up a “base camp” at the entrance to the new Hangar E and inside at booth E37. The association will conduct free Air Camping Forums Tuesday, April 13, and Thursday, April 15, at 1 p.m. each day.
Founding memberships are available at AmericanAirCampers.com, and will be available at Sun ‘n Fun. In addition to the exclusive On-line Air Campers’ Airport Guide & Flight Planner and many other association benefits, founding members will receive VIP priority at AACA-sponsored events and a commemorative gift pack. Founding Membership is $49.
For more information: 239-415-4693, 877-352-CAMP (2267) or AmericanAirCampers.com.