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September 22, 2011
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) on Friday awarded its highest honor for individuals to Dr. Robert Larkin, a county commissioner in Washoe County, Nev., and volunteer for AOPA’s Airport Support Network at Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO). Commissioner Larkin was honored for his work to ensure that general aviation would continue to have access at RNO. The Laurence P. Sharples Perpetual Award is presented annually to an individual who has made significant contributions to the advancement of general aviation.
The Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority took action last year to reduce and limit general aviation access at RNO by failing to renew the leases of two FBOs and taking over rental of hangars there. Airport Administration indicated they would operate the existing hangars for "at least one year or until new hangars were built at Reno-Stead Airport," which the Authority also operates.
Commissioner Larkin, working closely with AOPA, assisted local pilots in organizing the Reno-Tahoe Aviation Association and tutored them on how to deal with the Airport Authority, and facilitated resolutions for continued support of general aviation facilities at RNO by Washoe County and City of Sparks, Nev.
"Commissioner Larkin’s leadership and advocacy efforts are a perfect example of what can be accomplished when pilots are engaged and committed to making a difference," said AOPA President and CEO Craig L. Fuller. "It can be hard work, but as we saw in Reno, well worth the effort."
In addition to his work as a county commissioner and Airport Support Network volunteer, Larkin is an active flight instructor.
The Laurence P. Sharples Perpetual Award is named for AOPA’s first chairman of the board and is given each year to the person or persons who best emulates the unselfish contribution to general aviation which characterized the life of L.P. Sharples.
Editors: A hi-res image of Dr. Robert Larkin is available by clicking here.
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