June 19, 2014
By Jim Moore
With 2,100 feet of turf, an on-field café, flight school, and scenic surroundings (about a mile from the Atlantic Ocean), Hampton Airfield (7B3) in North Hampton, N.H. has plenty of charm. Pilots can rent a J-3 Cub, earn a seaplane rating, and find any number of people with a common passion for flight in this community with a rich aviation history.
AOPA Eastern Regional Manager Sean Collins visited on June 13 to take part in the Granite State Airport Management Association quarterly meeting, and deliver a presentation on AOPA resources for airport managers.
While AOPA’s services for pilots are generally well known, airport managers—particularly those who run privately owned airports—might not realize that the association also offers a wide range of resources valuable to them. AOPA has developed guides to promoting airports (and general aviation) in local communities, holding an airport open house, managing noise and land-use issues, regulatory compliance, infrastructure planning, and much more—all of which are available online at no cost.
AOPA also supports and encourages development of a strong and active airport community, including volunteer support through the Airport Support Network.
Collins, like other AOPA regional managers, is an active member of state airport associations throughout his region, and encourages pilots and airport operators to join and support those associations.
Collins said his visit to Hampton Airfield was just one example of his efforts throughout the year to meet face-to-face with pilots, airport staff, and others in the general aviation community, building relationships that help him stay on top of issues and developments across his 13-state territory.
“As regional managers, we are often able to be the go-between for the airports, local pilots, and AOPA Airport Support Network or other departments—a professional switchboard of sorts, able to disseminate information rapidly,” Collins explained. “This serves our members on many levels and especially when problems arise.”
Collins said there is no substitute for personal contacts, and the relationships that result.
AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
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AOPA expressed concern in a meeting with town officials from East Hampton, New York, that restrictions proposed to curb airport noise “overwhelmingly” generated by transient commercial flights would unfairly burden traditional airport users.
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