AOPA pledges support to protect piston operations at growing corporate-use airport

Van Nuys GA pilots must get fair treatment

May 23, 2002

VNYPROP President Elliot Sanders (right) presents AOPA Regional Affairs VP Bill Dunn with one of the group's baseball caps.

In a presentation to over 140 local pilots attending the annual meeting of the Van Nuys Propeller Aircraft Association, AOPA Vice President of Regional Affairs Bill Dunn pledged AOPA's support to ensure that piston aircraft operators are treated fairly with reasonable facilities and accommodations.

Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), operator of Los Angeles International, Ontario, Van Nuys, and Palmdale airports, is updating the master plan for Van Nuys Airport. The plan, focused primarily on disposing of airport property for non-aviation, commercial development and to accommodate large corporate aircraft such as the Boeing BBJ, will cause a reduction in space available for smaller GA aircraft. Dunn told those attending that the association would strongly oppose release of airport property for non-aviation purposes until such time as all aviation needs have been met.

In a meeting with LAWA Van Nuys Airport Assistant Manager Leigh Hatayama, AOPA made it clear a resolution to the problem must provide facilities for existing tenants, as well as modest expansion of GA facilities as demand increased. Dunn told Hatayama "piston aircraft should not be the sacrificial lamb of the airport's desire to dispose of airport property."

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