September 2, 2006
Two of the most popular AOPA Expos in recent history have been held in Atlantic City. It's conveniently located for a large number of Northeast pilots, and the convention center is a fantastic facility.
So why isn't AOPA going back?
"The officials running the very underused Atlantic City International Airport simply didn't want to be bothered with a bunch of general aviation aircraft, regardless of the income they would bring to the airport and the city," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "The airport handles only 38 airline operations a day, but AOPA Expo would put such a 'burden' on their facilities that they wanted to charge us an exorbitant amount to pay for normal airport operations.
"That adds insult to the injury of years of neglect of Bader Field, which will likely be closed by 2007," said Boyer, "so we'll gladly go someplace that appreciates the value of GA, and that's Hartford, Connecticut." More on why not Atlantic City...
Northeast pilots, AOPA Expo will be headed back your way in 2007. AOPA President Phil Boyer said the association has chosen Connecticut's capital, Hartford, to host AOPA Expo 2007, general aviation's premier convention and trade show.
Expo will run October 4 through 6, 2007, and will bring an estimated $10 million into the central Connecticut economy. ( AOPA Expo 2006 is set for November 9 through 11 in Palm Springs, California.)
"There were two key factors for selecting Hartford as the site for our 2007 AOPA Expo," said Boyer. "First and foremost, there is a large concentration of the pilot population who live in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, and Hartford is a centrally positioned location easily accessible to them by car or lightplane.
"Second, Hartford provides an ideal airport environment for the world's largest aviation organization to host its annual convention. Both Hartford-Brainard Airport and Bradley International Airport combine to serve those who fly themselves and those who use the airlines to attend."
Exhibitors and attendees who come to AOPA Expo year in and year out have made it clear one of the reasons is that AOPA is the only aviation convention to regularly visit all four corners of the country, reaching the overwhelming majority of the U.S. pilot population close to where they live.
This year's Expo will be in the Southwest, in Palm Springs, California, November 9 through 11; the Northeast (Hartford) next year, October 4 through 6, 2007; Northern California (San Jose), within reach of the entire Northwest, November 6 through 8, 2008; and returning to Tampa, Florida, host of AOPA Expo 2005, Nov 5 through 7, 2009.
AOPA Expo is the only annual aviation convention dedicated to personal aviation - those pilots who fly either for recreation or in support of their work. The exhibit hall annually boasts more than 500 vendor exhibits while the aircraft display routinely hosts more than 70 different aircraft, ranging from two-seat training aircraft to small business jets.
But Expo is about more than shopping. It's about being a better pilot. The convention hosts more than 75 hours of aviation seminars, ranging in topic from medical and safety to aircraft ownership and pilot proficiency.
More information about AOPA Expo is available online.
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