AOPA President Craig Fuller and Gary Fox, AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer for Lee's Summit Municipal Airport.
AOPA President Craig Fuller and AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer Gary Fox met for the first time during a breakfast meeting on Jan. 30. After an informal chat, Fox said he walked away feeling like he had just had breakfast with a friend.
Fox, who is the ASN volunteer at Lee’s Summit Municipal Airport in Lee’s Summit, Mo., discussed projects underway at the airport with Fuller, Airport Manager John Ohrazda, and Assistant Manager Abe Forney. Projects include putting a fence around the airport and increasing the runway. The group met at the headquarters of the Aircraft Electronics Association, which is based at Lee’s Summit because of its proximity to the airport.
The airport is starting to garner more business traffic, Fox said, explaining that many business passengers prefer flying into Lee’s Summit over Charles B. Wheeler Downtown in Kansas City, Mo.
Abraham Forney, Assistant Manager at Lee's Summit (Mo.) Municipal Airport (left), AOPA President Craig Fuller, Lee's Summit Airport Manager John Ohrazda.
During the meeting, Fuller expressed his willingness to help protect and promote community airports across the country.
“I plan to talk to AOPA members and GA industry leaders in informal, relaxed settings,” Fuller said. “I want to find out the real story about what’s going on in their personal GA communities—the positive and the negative. Once I know the full story, I’ll be in a better position to offer support from AOPA.”
Fuller also swapped flying stories with Fox, who served in the Air Force for 20 years and then earned his private pilot certificate in the early 1980s. Fox, a multiengine, instrument-rated pilot, owns and flies a 1959 Piper Tri-Pacer, and Fuller owns a Bonanza that he flies for business more than 200 hours a year.
“He’s very easy to talk to, and I think that’s probably one of his major attributes,” Fox said of AOPA’s new president. “It was like sitting down with a friend having a cup of coffee.”