The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Aviation Summit is returning to the West Coast, landing at the Long Beach, Calif., Convention Center Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 11-13. Simultaneously, the AOPA Airportfest, with scores of aircraft on display and numerous activities for everyone – pilot and non-pilot alike – takes place at nearby Long Beach Airport (LGB).
“The AOPA Aviation Summit is the one place our members know they can come and hear what’s really going on in general aviation today, interact with decision makers who influence our future, see the latest GA has to offer, and enjoy the company of their fellow pilots,” said AOPA President and CEO Craig Fuller. “Just as important, it’s a chance for them to tell us what’s on their minds so AOPA can continue to be responsive to our members’ needs.”
One of the highlights of the show – and something AOPA has never done at Summit before – is the awarding of the grand prize from the Fun To Fly Sweepstakes, a 2010 Remos GX Light Sport Aircraft.
Continuing an outreach initiative begun at last year’s Aviation Summit in Tampa, the association will again offer AOPA Live, streaming internet coverage of the summit, beginning each morning at 9 a.m. (Pacific time/Noon Eastern time) with keynote addresses from the AOPA Live stage on the Exhibit Hall floor.
“AOPA Live lets us share the Aviation Summit experience with thousands of AOPA members and aviation enthusiasts who might otherwise not be able to make it Long Beach,” said Chris O’Callaghan, AOPA’s vice president of ePublishing, whose department is overseeing AOPA Live.
Thursday morning’s keynote address will honor the nation’s military veterans in observance of Veteran’s Day.
On Saturday, pilot, AOPA member, and renowned futurist John Petersen will deliver the keynote. He will discuss where general aviation is likely to be a decade from now. Petersen is the founder of The Arlington Institute, a future-oriented think tank that serves as a global agent for change by developing new concepts, processes, and tools for anticipating the future and translating that knowledge into better present-day decisions.
After each day’s keynote, AOPA Aviation Summit visitors will be able to wander through approximately 500 exhibitor booth spaces, looking at everything from aviation-themed jewelry and souvenirs to pilot supplies, avionics, and aircraft.
The Exhibit Hall will once again feature: the Controllers’ Corner, where pilots and air traffic controllers can mingle and discuss life on both sides of the radio; Women’s Wing, a joint venture between AOPA and Women in Aviation, International, intended to draw more women into aviation and support those who already fly; and the AOPA Health Pavilion, promoting healthier living to help pilots maintain their medical certificates.
This year, pilots and aviation enthusiasts attending the AOPA Aviation Summit have some 66 hours of aviation forums to choose from, including a brand new track on light business aircraft (LBA), hosted jointly by AOPA and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA). The LBA track will offer forums on topics such as how to use your airplane for business, tax benefits of business aviation, legal reimbursements under Part 61.113 of federal aviation regulations, insurance, and safety. Identical forums will be offered during NBAA’s annual convention.
The AOPA Air Safety Institute will offer an array of seminars, from Real World IFR and its Pinch Hitter course for cockpit companions to What Went Wrong?, a seminar that lets pilots learn from others’ mistakes before they make the same mistakes themselves. There will also be ownership forums, learning to fly forums, destination forums, and just-for-fun forums, such as Rod Machado’s popular Aviation Humor and The Art of Aviation Photography with AOPA chief photographer Mike Fizer and staff photographer Chris Rose.
The educational opportunities continue right on out onto the Exhibit Hall floor, with mini-forums being held throughout the Aviation Summit at Controller’s Corner, Women’s Wing, and the Health Pavilion.
Airportfest returns this year as an integral part of the AOPA Aviation Summit. Central to Airportfest will be the aircraft display, featuring approximately 100 aircraft, from LSAs to business jets. There will also be displays and activities for non-flyers who are interested in – or even just think they might be interested in – aviation. Given Southern California’s numerous military installations and in honor of Veterans Day, military aviation will be among the displays at Airportfest.
On Friday, AOPA will host a luncheon at which the association will present its two highest awards. The Joseph B. “Doc” Hartranft Award and the Laurence P. Sharples Perpetual Award honor, respectively, the elected official and the individual who have done the most to protect general aviation.
That evening, AOPA will team with local restaurants for a block party on Pine Avenue, right outside the Convention Center. The Block Party will include live entertainment and fun activities for the whole family with discounts at restaurants available for all AOPA Summit participants.
On Saturday evening, AOPA will host a fundraising event, aimed at preserving general aviation, aboard the historic RMS Queen Mary. A portion of the proceeds will support the AOPA Foundation, a charity committed to supporting Americans’ freedom to fly and building a legacy for the future of general aviation.