Aero Mark, an FBO at Idaho Falls Regional Airport (IDA), has teamed up with the Idaho Aviation Association (IAA) to host the Idaho Aviation Trade Show May 20-21. This first annual event is intended to kick off the flying season and meet a variety of other needs, according to organizers.
For the IAA, it is a chance to grow membership and have its annual meeting in a new venue. “Growing our membership is a major goal this year,” said Doug Cully of the Idaho Aviation Association Membership Committee. “When Aero Mark offered to host our meeting and throw a trade show at the same time, it seemed like a win-win.” The IAA Board agreed and opted to hold its annual meeting in Idaho Falls on May 21 as part of the trade show.
As an incentive to join IAA, tickets to the trade show are $30 for Friday and Saturday, or you can join IAA for $29 and admission is free, plus IAA members get a free lunch on Saturday and are registered to win one of two iPads to be given away at the event.
The challenge of doing a spring aviation trade show is weather, organizers concede. The 30,000-square-foot Aero Mark XL hangars solves that problem. “After building the big hangar, we realized it would be a great venue for an aviation trade show,” said Bob Hoff, owner of Aero Mark. “Idaho is such a gem for backcountry pilots from all over the country it seemed like a good idea to have an event in the state to kick off the backcounty flying season safely with seminars, speakers and general information sharing. The XL hangar makes it possible to host vendors, planes, seminars indoors without worrying about wind or weather.”
The plans for the first annual Idaho Aviation Trade Show are nearly complete, he added. Seminars are booked, vendors are signed up, and speakers are arranged. Now it is time to book the pilots. To register for the Idaho Aviation Tradeshow, visit IAA’s new website at IdahoAviation.com. The website will have an updated agenda of events and a way to pre-pay for your dinner tickets.
In addition to having the IAA annual meeting, the event will feature two Mountain/Canyon Flying seminars by Lori MacNichol (pictured) for WINGs credit, a discussion about the state of Idaho backcountry, an overview of national aviation access issues by the Recreational Aviation Foundation, safety seminars, and general hangar flying.
For entertainment, there will be a wide variety of aviation stuff including cool planes to check out, war stories about B-17s, and air combat support in Afghanistan, organizers promised.
Social events include a no-host bar Friday and Saturday night and a sit-down dinner Saturday night. Regardless of your membership status, dinner on Saturday will still cost $30.
“For me, the big draw is the opportunity to sharpen up my thinking, do some hangar flying with friends, and get ready for the summer flying season,” said Mike Hart, event co-organizer and District 6 Director for IAA in Idaho Falls. “It doesn’t hurt that there is free Mountain Flying seminar and a chance to win an iPad.”