San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed (left) and AOPA President Phil Boyer cut the ribbon to open the Exhibit Hall of AOPA Expo
General aviation has a friend in San Jose. Mayor Chuck Reed welcomed AOPA President Phil Boyer and an excited crowd of members at the doors of the exhibit hall for the traditional ribbon cutting ceremony on this the opening day of Expo 18.
It was a poignant moment for Boyer who is retiring after 18 years of service to general aviation and who remarked on how San Jose has matured in the dozen years since the last time Expo was held here. Generous applause greeted his comment that the best thing about coming back to San Jose is its airports.
“It’s great to see you here. I have a soft spot for aviation,” said Reed who has family members in the U.S. Air Force. He told Boyer and the packed crowd that construction at Norman Y. Mineta International Airport is “on time and on budget” and that his administration wants to ensure that Reid-Hillview Airport says open. “We know that aviation plays an important role in our community and in our economy,” Reed said to applause.
Boyer pointed to the gathered crowd and said, “Look how anxious our members are to spend money in your city.” To which Reed replied, “We want you to leave town broke—go out and spend your money in our great city.”
Boyer and Reed then together cut the large blue ribbon and members poured into the exhibit hall, which is at an all-time high capacity with more than 600 exhibitor booths.