The courtesy car at Alexandria Field Airport (N85) in Pittstown, N.J., represents much more than a way for general aviation pilots to get from the airport to the surrounding area.
The successful initiative began in September 2010 when N85 became involved with the Garrett A. Morgan Technology & Transportation Education Program Grant. As part of the grant’s aviation education programming, an Aviation Science Club was formed with local school districts and airport flight students. The club was just one of 20 programs introduced to the community over the 12-month period of the grant.
The airport owners developed strategies to sustain as many of the 20 programs as possible. The Hunterdon County Adventure Package (HCAP) was one of the programs to evolve as a result. The HCAP allows pilots to help open doors for the next generation of students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). It works like this:
Pilots flying to N85 are asked to call the airport and reserve the courtesy car. In addition to use of the car, pilots will receive discount coupons to a variety of products and services offered by members of the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce, including discounts for local bed and breakfast, museums, skydiving, river rafting, golf courses, town shopping, balloon rides, and restaurants.
Upon arriving at Alexandria Field, pilots are given the keys to a 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid (donated by Muller Hyundai) to drive to their destination. No payment is required for the use of the car. Instead, if pilots enjoy the car and feel the coupons were worthwhile, they are encouraged to do two things: Add fuel to the tank (not much at 40 mpg) and make a donation to support the Aviation Science Club, airport officials said.
The car will be the centerpiece of a two-hour event Tuesday, May 8, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., when the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce and the Central Jersey Aviation Education Collaborative team up during National Tourism Week at Alexandria Field to explain the sustainability efforts initiated by the original grant (beginning with the Courtesy Car Project).
Keynote speaker is Astronaut Terry Hart, who is now a professor at Lehigh University in the Engineering Dept.
The event will also feature a panel of professionals from aviation, tourism, education and the business industry in support of public private partnerships to develop the next generation of STEM professionals, as well as “The Science behind Hybrid Cars” with Hunterdon County Polytech and Muller Hyundai/Toyota.
Also at the event will be an “Adventure Package” tourism coupon information table, an Aviation Science Club members Table, a Charles Lindberg Display by Jim Davidson, and Skydiving Demonstrations by Skydive Jersey.
There will be food and much more, including drawings for Introductory Flight Lessons, Tandem Skydiving, and signed posters of the earth from Terry Hart.
You can RSVP directly to Hunterdon-Chamber.org or 908-782.7115 by Friday, May 4.
For more information: AlexandriaField.com
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