Alaska conference highlights importance of GA airports

October 27, 2006

Airports in Alaska are a vital part of the state's commerce and transportation system. While they face different threats than those in the Lower 48, there is a need to promote them to the communities they serve. Stacy Swigart, director of the AOPA Airport Support Network (ASN), gave a talk on how to do just that at Aviation North Expo in Fairbanks last week. Swigart also met with Alaska's ASN volunteers to share information about their airports at the first regional ASN meeting held in the state. AOPA Air Safety Foundation instructor Mark Grady received rave reviews for seminars on emergency procedures and pilot decision making. And Catherine Fish, who also instructs for the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, conducted a four-hour GPS workshop for IFR pilots. Seminars on forming successful airport user groups, hangar construction, light sport aircraft, and a wide range of other topics were also on the program, drawing nearly 400 participants. "The conference gave AOPA members and staff a chance to speak directly with FAA and National Weather Service program managers," said Tom George, AOPA Alaska regional representative. "Our members took full advantage of the opportunity to tell them what we liked and what needs to be improved on popular programs including weather cameras, Capstone, and the weather service's Web site."

October 27, 2006