There’s a neighborhood near South Carolina’s Greenville Downtown Airport (GMU) full of grandparents who host their grandkids for a week during the summer. That’s why the residents of The Cliff at Glassy formed a Grandparents Camp, which recently visited GMU.
More than 50 people from the neighborhood visited the airport “so they could have fun and learn about aviation,” said Gerald Gaige, a resident of The Cliff at Glassy. “The 6 to 15 year old kids come from their parents homes, which are scattered across the U.S., to visit their grandparents and have fun. Our granddaughter joined us from Houston.”
“I love coming here every year because I know there will always be something fun and interesting to do,” stated Amanda, Gerald Gaige’s granddaughter. “I can see that grandpa and grandma and their friends really work hard to make it fun for us.”
“I was in charge of organizing the Greenville Downtown Airport visit and there was a very high level of interest in this activity when it was offered,” Gaige said. “Families kept increasing the number of members they wanted to attend and people were signing up continuously through the deadline. This shows how much people want to learn more about aircraft and how they are used in our area for business and pleasure.”
“We hope that the youngsters came away with a healthy base of knowledge about general aviation and a realization of the opportunities available in this industry and its important role in the economy of our state and the country,” Gaige stated. “Several companies donated their time and facilities for us and for that I am grateful,” Gaige said.
Special Services Corporation, a local air taxi and aircraft management company provided tours of aircraft; Mint Air displayed its light-sport aircraft that they use for flight training and rental; Wings Over Greenville brought its bi-plane which provides open cockpit sightseeing tours; and the FAA control tower let visitors observe aircraft movements, as directed by the air traffic controllers based at the airport. Then the group headed to the Runway Cafe for lunch.
“We opened up our business for this group because we enjoy talking to kids about how much fun flying can be,” stated Steve Wiley, VP of Aviation Accounts for Special Services Corporation. “Having an opportunity to expose these kids and their families to the real benefits of business aviation was a bonus!”
GMU is the busiest general aviation airport in South Carolina and is a self-sufficient entity with financial strength that doesn’t rely on local taxpayers for funding. The airport is home to more than 25 aviation-related businesses creating 453 jobs that annually contribute more than $35.2 million to the Upstate economy. For more information: GreenvilleDowntownAirport.com or 864-242-4777.