July 24, 2014
By AOPA Communications staff
Following on the success of its 2014 regional fly-ins, AOPA on July 23 issued a “Request for Airport Proposal” for its series of regional fly-ins for 2015.
Fly-ins offer AOPA members and the public a chance to gather at a local airport on a Saturday to socialize with fellow pilots and aviation enthusiasts, talk to aviation vendors and view display aircraft, participate in clinics and educational forums and eat great food. Each fly-in also includes a Pilot Town Hall hosted by AOPA President Mark Baker.
“We’ve had a fantastic turnout by our members at our fly-ins this year, with a resounding call for more of the same in 2015,” Baker said. “The airports we’re visiting in 2014 have been great to work with and we are thankful for their support of AOPA and general aviation. We are now taking what we’ve learned this year and inviting other airports interested in partnering with us to let us know about the opportunities at their fields.
“I could not be more excited about embarking on another year of engaging with members and the public at some of the best general aviation airports in America.”
Each fly-in 2014 so far has drawn more than 2,000 participants, more than 400 aircraft, and 900 vehicles. AOPA has hosted three fly-ins in 2014, with four more scheduled through November.
AOPA’s “Request for Airport Proposal” (RFP) includes both required and desired criteria to help host an AOPA Fly-In. Proposals are due on Sept., 19, 2014. The Fly-in RFP can be downloaded from AOPA's website.
AOPA is looking for airports with a minimum of two runways, ample aircraft and automobile parking, event space, a nearby “reliever” airport that can handle overflow airplane traffic, and an active general aviation community from which to draw support and volunteers.
Added benefits include turf areas for aircraft camping, turf runways and available floatplane landing and mooring facilities, availability of on-airport restaurant or other food and beverage options such as local food trucks or mobile caterers, and on-field entertainment such as museums.
So far in 2014 AOPA has hosted fly-ins in San Marcos, Texas; Indianapolis, Indiana, and Plymouth, Massachusetts. The fly-ins will continue Aug. 16 at Spokane, Washington’s Felts Field Airport; Sept. 20 at the Chino, California, airport; and Nov. 8 in St. Simons, Georgia.
On Oct. 4, AOPA will celebrate its Seventy-Fifth Anniversary with a Homecoming Fly-In at its Frederick, Maryland, headquarters.
AOPA has announced plans for five new fly-ins in 2015 following the success of last year's inaugural events. Events will be held in California, Colorado, Maryland, Minnesota, and Tennessee.
In an effort to increase member engagement, one of AOPA President Mark Baker’s first acts as the association’s new leader was to move away from one annual convention and instead host a series of regional fly-ins to “meet the members where they are.”
AOPA's final fly-in of the year a resounding success with thousands of pilots, hundreds of airplanes, and dozens of activities.
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