February 14, 2013
By Dan Namowitz
AOPA President Craig Fuller will be the keynote speaker, and AOPA will participate in a wide variety of activities and programs at the Northwest Aviation Conference Feb. 23 and 24 in Puyallup, Wash.
The event, which has become an aviation tradition in the area, will be preceded by a new feature this year: an Aviation Business and Career Forum on Feb. 22, offering sessions to help businesses and individuals “have a prosperous and rewarding future in aviation.”
Educating and informing pilots in the Northwest on AOPA’s activities--especially the association’s advocacy on their behalf at the national and state levels--will be high on the association’s agenda at the 2013 conference.
Participants will have the opportunity to see AOPA in action on numerous fronts. The new Center to Advance the Pilot Community will be on hand to introduce pilots to, and engage them in, its mission to reverse the decline of the pilot population, with Shannon Yeager, vice president of strategic initiatives, joining in leading a session on Making Flying Affordable.
The Air Safety Institute, the AOPA government affairs team, and Northwest/Mountain Regional Manager David Ulane will all take part in conference programs. The AOPA Airports team will lead three sessions on managing successful airports, featuring participation from the FAA, the state of Washington aviation division, and local airport leaders.
A meeting of AOPA’s Northwest Airport Support Network volunteers will be held, and there will be an AOPA booth where members can meet with AOPA staff.
Organizers hope the pre-conference business forum will serve as a bridge between students and aviation professionals, said Jamelle Garcia, executive director of the Washington Aviation Association.
“Hosting this added day is a wonderful opportunity to not only reach out to young people, but also provide resources to those already in the industry and needing a boost to get to the next level,” Garcia said.
The Aviation Business and Career Forum will take place Feb. 22 at the Showplex, Western Washington Fairgrounds. The cost is $35 per person, which includes lunch and admission to the conference Feb. 23 and 24. Register online or call Rachel Hansen (866/922-7469). Parking is free. Doors open at 8 a.m.
Thirty years ago, the Northwest Aviation Conference “began as a small gathering of tables in a Bellevue hotel lobby,” and has grown to more than 75 hours of aviation safety seminars and more than 350 exhibits and aircraft display, the conference organizers said in their event announcement.
AOPA members are invited to join AOPA President Craig Fuller at the Washington Seaplane Pilots Association 2013 Grounded Hogs Dinner on Feb. 22 at Boeing Field’s Museum of Flight in Seattle.
The dinner also will feature speaker Richard Wien, of the famous Wien Air Alaska, and a raffle with prizes including a Sage fly fishing rod, guided fishing by Lucky Dan’s at Eagle Nook Resort, dinner at Robin Hood Restaurant, equipment from Garmin, and lodging at one of three resorts: Eagle Nook Resort on Barkley Sound, Alderbrook Resort on the Olympic Peninsula, and Captain Whidbey Inn at Whidbey Island.
Cocktails begin at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. Seating is limited, so purchase tickets for the event early. The cost for Washington Seaplane Pilots Association members, guests, and friends is $69.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
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