The giant exhibit hall will
house more 500 industry exhibits.
June 8, 2004 - The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association returns to Long Beach, Calif., for AOPA Expo 2004, general aviation's premier convention and trade show, October 21-23. Long a favorite with pilots for its convenience, Long Beach boasts attractions such as the Queen Mary, the Long Beach aquarium, museums, and fabulous ocean vistas.
Expo kicks off on Thursday, October 21, with the first of three free daily general sessions. FAA Administrator Marion Blakey has once again been invited to speak at one of the sessions.
Traditionally, the general session on Saturday is a chance for members to hear from Phil Boyer and key AOPA staff on the important issues facing pilots and what is in store for AOPA members during "Meet Team AOPA." Past general session topics have included the future of aircraft technology and airport preservation.
After each day's general session, the exhibit hall opens with 500 industry exhibits showcasing some of the latest technology in GA. Pilots can speak with knowledgeable experts, test and compare products, and shop for a wide variety of items from headsets to GPS receivers to aviation apparel.
A short, free shuttle bus ride away at Long Beach Airport, some 70 aircraft will fill the static display. Adam, Aviat, Cessna, Cirrus, Diamond, EADS Socata, Lancair, Mooney, Pilatus, The New Piper Company, Robinson Helicopter, and Tiger Aircraft will all be there. The complimentary transportation service between the convention center and the static display area at Long Beach Airport will run every 20 minutes.
The place of honor on the static display ramp will go to the AOPA Win-A-Twin Sweepstakes grand prize, a better-than-new 1965 Piper Twin Comanche. By the time Expo starts, the Sweepstakes Twin Comanche will have undergone a complete makeover, from the inside out, including a new interior, completely updated and upgraded panel, speed modifications, and a custom-designed paint scheme.
Expo-goers will have more than 75 opportunities to attend seminars on topics such as "How To Save Your Life in an Aircraft Accident," "Single-Pilot IFR," "Affordable Flying," "Fly-In Destinations in the West," and "Defensive Flying." The AOPA Air Safety Foundation will offer a full slate of programs, including a brand-new seminar that will debut during Expo titled "Weather Wise: Practical Tips and Tactical Tricks." It's the first truly practical look at weather from a pilot's perspective. ASF will also offer the classic Pinch-Hitter® program each day for non-flying companions.
"Educational opportunities abound at this year's Expo," said AOPA Senior Vice President Karen Gebhart. "Whether you're a new pilot or have been flying for several years, there are dozens of opportunities to improve your knowledge, skills, and safety."
As educational as Expo 2004 promises to be, it will be a lot of fun, too. On Friday night, guests will party aboard the sensational Queen Mary, moored permanently in Long Beach Harbor.
Saturday night, the Grand Finale Banquet will feature gala entertainment. Two coveted awards will be handed out that night as well. AOPA will present the J.B. Hartranft and Laurence P. Sharples Awards, respectively, to the government official and the individual who did the most during 2003-2004 to advance the cause of general aviation.
It costs as little as $25/day to attend the general sessions, exhibit hall, and static display at Expo 2004 for visitors who register in advance. Or for $45/day, visitors may do all that, plus attend any of the seminars they choose. Advance registration is now open, either online or by calling 888/GO-2-EXPO (888/462-3976).
There's also a form on the Web site for making hotel reservations, and anyone planning to stay for more than one day is encouraged to reserve rooms early.
"Each of the last two times we held Expo on the West Coast, we set attendance records," said Ann Kilian, AOPA's director of conventions and meetings. "With that kind attendance, rooms are likely to go fast."
With more than 400,000 members, representing nearly two thirds of all pilots in the United States, AOPA is the largest, most influential aviation association in the world. AOPA has achieved its prominent position through effective advocacy, enlightened leadership, technical competence, and hard work. Providing member services that range from representation at the federal, state, and local levels to legal services, advice, and other assistance, AOPA has built a service organization that far exceeds any other in the aviation community.