Community, pilots, AOPA come together at North Las Vegas

December 11, 2008

Open houseA recent open house at North Las Vegas Airport in Clark County, Nev., brought out hundreds of local community members for a chance to learn about the value of their airport even as county officials seek authority to restrict access to the field.

The event, organized by the Clark County Aviation Association and attended by AOPA Western Regional Representative Stacy Howard, was designed to help community members get to know their airport and understand its importance in the wake of high profile accidents that have generated opposition to the field. Hundreds attended the event, which featured aircraft displays and safety information.

The community relations effort is just one of the ways that AOPA and the Clark County Aviation Association have worked together to promote and protect the airport as it has come under attack. The two groups also have worked vigorously to fight a plan promoted by the director of the Department of Aviation to give county officials the authority to restrict access to the airport—a right normally reserved for federal authorities.

“Imagine what would happen if every airport sponsor could decide what types of aircraft it would and wouldn’t accept—that could undermine the entire national air transportation system and vastly diminish the utility of our airports,” said Heidi Williams, AOPA senior director for airports.

The AOPA Air Safety Foundation is also working to educate pilots about the special considerations of flying in urban areas like North Las Vegas. The foundation will host a special seminar “Safe Skies, Good Neighbors” on Jan. 14. The seminar was designed specifically with North Las Vegas in mind.