January 11, 2012
By Benét J. Wilson
AOPA has committed to hold general aviation’s premier trade show and convention, AOPA Aviation Summit, at the Palm Springs Convention Center Oct. 11 through 13, 2012, and Oct. 9 through 11, 2014.
AOPA Aviation Summit features dozens of aircraft on display at the Palm Springs Convention Center, more than 400 booths in the exhibit hall, and an enhanced education series offered over the course of three days.
The organization has not been to Palm Springs since 2006. Since then, almost $200 million has been spent to build new hotels and upgrade existing facilities.
The return to Palm Springs also means the return of the popular Parade of Planes, traveling the mile from Palm Springs International Airport to the convention center. Palm Springs is the only city that allows for this option.
“Our goal is to create a convention with a national draw, which is why we’re returning to Palm Springs in 2012 and 2014,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. “It’s a very popular destination for attendees and exhibitors alike, and we’re happy to be returning.” If you cannot attend in person, pilots and members will still be able to participate by watching AOPA Live coverage.
“Palm Springs has a great selection of accommodations at a variety of prices, many with a resort feel,” said Director of Outreach and Events Andrea Berry. “We have worked closely with the convention center and the Palm Springs Visitors Authority, who have rolled out the red carpet to ensure that our members and exhibitors are welcomed and will have the best Summit experience.”
“The city is also very aviation friendly and home to the Palm Springs Air Museum, which houses one of the country’s largest collections of World War II aircraft,” said Berry. The summit is expected to generate $12 million in economic impact.
If you are an active pilot or want to get back into flying, AOPA Aviation Summit is the place to be. “AOPA Aviation Summit has something to offer all members, whether you’re an aircraft owner, a pilot who rents, or an aviation enthusiast who doesn’t yet hold a pilot certificate,” said Fuller. “We want to provide more opportunities for pilots to participate in Summit via sharing their stories, attending seminars, attending keynotes with aviation leaders and participating in social events. Pilots will walk away with knowledge on how to get the most out of their flying.”
In addition to all the great interactive displays, educational opportunities and hundreds of exhibits, there will also be time for more social events. The goal in Palm Springs is to offer a range of social activities that will allow pilots to connect in a meaningful way while taking advantage of the best the city has to offer.
AOPA will also use the Aviation Summit to reveal the lucky winner of this year’s Tougher than a Tornado sweepstakes aircraft, a 2011 Aviat Husky. It is a rugged, hand-crafted two-seat aircraft that can land on a wide variety of surfaces, including grass, sand beaches, and river beds.
“We will have many exciting new offerings at the AOPA Aviation Summit in Palm Springs,” concluded Fuller. “We look forward to seeing our members at this important yearly event.”
AOPA eNewsletter and Social Media Editor Benét J. Wilson joined AOPA in 2011. She is working on her private pilot certificate.
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