The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Fly-Ins for 2017 will be in Camarillo, California (April 28 and 29), followed by Norman, Oklahoma (Sept. 8 and 9), Groton, Connecticut (Oct. 6 and 7), and Tampa, Florida (Oct. 27 and 28).
“Thanks to a tremendous response from members, exhibitors, and fly-in attendees to date, AOPA has expanded each of the four regional fly-ins for 2017, adding a second day to allow attendees to experience more hands-on aviation, and more of what has drawn praise and sparked enthusiasm from the nearly 44,000 who have attended an AOPA Fly-In to date,” officials said in a prepared release.
AOPA Fly-Ins for 2017 will offer more — from camping and camaraderie to workshops and clinics offering opportunities to learn new skills, fly more affordably, or make the jump from aircraft renter to owner.
“We’re listening to our members who have asked for more extensive content, and we’re excited to bring new things that will deepen relationships and expand your flying skills,” said AOPA Director of Outreach and Events Chris Eads. “This has been about us really listening to the members.”
Each event will now feature two full days of activities, including an expanded roster of learning opportunities and workshops beginning on the Friday of each event at 9 a.m. These workshops will cover a range of topics, such as mountain flying or owner-performed maintenance.
AOPA launched the regional fly-ins in 2014, shifting from a single annual convention to a new approach designed to gather members at locations closer to home, and make it possible for more members (and guests, including future pilots) to attend.
That proved to be a formula for success: Total attendance grew 15% between 2014 and 2015, and 33% between 2015 and 2016, according to AOPA officials.
Nearly 44,000 visitors and more than 6,000 aircraft arrivals have been logged during the 16 regional fly-ins to date.
As AOPA looks to the future, growing the general aviation community remains a top priority, officials noted.