AOPA's 263rd Pilot Town Meeting was held Wednesday in Honolulu, Hawaii. This marks the first time AOPA President Phil Boyer has held such an event in the 50th State. In a letter for Boyer to read at the meeting, Senator Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) wrote: "I regret I am not able to join you in person, especially upon this rare visit to Hawaii by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association's (AOPA) President Phil Boyer. Phil, I hope you will not wait another 11 years before visiting these beautiful islands that comprise my home state."
Boyer spoke to 150 pilots, accounting for almost 15 percent of AOPA's 1,085 members in the state. 455 aircraft fly from 14 state-owned and -operated airports, and earlier in the day, the AOPA president met with Morris Tamanaha, general aviation officer for the state Department of Transportation. They discussed improvements needed at many of the airports to accommodate general aviation users. Four of the airports have AOPA Airport Support Network volunteers, and all were in attendance at the meeting: Hank Bruckner, Honolulu (HNL); Owen Miyamoto, Kalaeloa (JRF); Merle Martin, Kona (KOA); and Roger Cable, Lihue (LIH).
Hank Bruckner introduced Boyer and provided logistical support for the meeting. Bruckner is truly an aviation activist in Hawaii as president of the General Aviation Council of Hawaii, owner of Air Olomana, Inc. (specializing in aerobatic/tailwheel training), an aviation safety counselor, and a private, instrument, commercial, and CFI/CFII/MEI.
The audience heard about AOPA's efforts following the September 11 tragedy, ADS-B technology being employed in Safe Flight 21, and a plea for more Airport Support Network volunteers for the unrepresented airports in the state. The questions and answers centered around insurance for owners and CFIs, and the few options for them in Hawaii.