Colorado pilots honor Phil Boyer
Colorado pilots honor Boyer
Colorado congressman pushes for avgas research
Congressman Mark Udall (D-Colo.) remembers being inspired by wings—on the AOPA decals of his parents’ cars. In a videotape address to more than 500 pilots attending the AOPA Pilot Town Meeting, Udall recalled that his father, former Congressman Mo Udall, started a business with a friend in order to continue flying in the face of mounting expenses.
Although not a pilot himself, Udall has developed his own passion for ensuring the future of general aviation. As chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology, he authored the research and development section of the FAA bill. Concerned by environmental pressures associated with 100LL and how it could impact future pilots, Udall included a provision advocated by AOPA that would require the FAA to research an economically viable alternative to leaded avgas that could satisfy the needs of the entire existing general aviation piston-engine fleet.
Udall also stressed that vital R&D efforts can be conducted under the existing funding structure for the FAA.
“So I’m very pleased to tell you that the House passed a bill that does NOT include the user fees proposed by the administration,” Udall noted, referring to H.R.2881.
As he concluded his remarks, he stated that he would be pushing to keep user fees out of the final version of the bill.
Centennial Airport Director Robert Olislagers presented AOPA President Phil Boyer with a special award on behalf of the airport and Colorado pilots during the Pilot Town Meeting in Denver this week. The award—a bust of Captain Elrey Jeppesen—is inscribed, “In grateful appreciation for your many years of dedicated support on behalf of general aviation.”
“Through Phil’s leadership, AOPA has accomplished so much for GA at the local, state, and national levels,” said Olislagers. “He’s done an amazing job.”
As just one example, he cited efforts to stop the construction of 1,600 homes right off the end of the runway. “We couldn’t have done it without AOPA,” Olislagers said. Now the airport and county have purchased development rights and some acreage in the area, ensuring compatible land use and protecting the airport environment.
“This was an extraordinary honor for me,” said Boyer. “Elrey Jeppesen is one of my heroes. His development of aviation charts turned aviation from seat-of-the-pants flying to a real utility and a transportation system.”
Boyer also had high praise for Centennial Airport. “Centennial is truly a model of what general aviation airports will have to become to survive into the future.”
Olislagers said the key is to balance the needs of the airport and the community, and always strive to keep the two working together. He turns to the free market to find nonaviation development that supports and protects the airport, and provides benefits to the community. For example, the north approach to the airport is protected by a golf course and other sports developments. Some airport property is currently being used for a karting racetrack. “We’re essentially banking the land until it’s economically feasible to build new hangars,” said Olislagers.
“We’re always looking for ways to diversify our economic basket, with all revenue coming back to maintain and improve the airport,” he added.
January 24, 2008
January 24, 2008