The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association's Expo 2004, general aviation's premier convention and trade show, returns to Long Beach, Calif., for three days, October 21-23.
"General aviation is an integral part of the government's overall aviation strategy," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "It's the training ground for most of today's and tomorrow's airline and military pilots. With more than 145 million people taking GA flights each year, general aviation actually carries more passengers than any single commercial airline. And GA is especially important in California; it's the home of one of every 10 pilots in the United States. That's why AOPA returns to the West Coast every other year for AOPA Expo."
In fact, 28,000 of AOPA's 48,000 California members live within 60 miles of Los Angeles. There are 21 general aviation airports within 50 miles of Los Angeles International Airport; 45 within 100 miles.
AOPA Expo 2004 is forecast to generate nearly $8 million for the city of Long Beach and surrounding area during its three-day run.
AOPA Expo 2004 kicks off on Thursday, October 21, when FAA Administrator Marion Blakey will again address the association's members who are gathered at the first of three free daily general sessions. On Friday, October 22, Adm. David M. Stone, the head of the Transportation Security Administration, will meet face-to-face with nearly 1,000 general aviation pilots when he discusses "GA Security: A View From the Top."
Saturday's general session is Team AOPA, giving AOPA members a chance to hear from and ask questions of the association's senior leaders, including Phil Boyer.
After each day's general session, the main exhibit hall opens, this year featuring well over 500 exhibits showcasing 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.
In addition to the indoor exhibits, the AOPA Win-A-Twin Sweepstakes grand prize, a better-than-new 1965 Piper Twin Comanche, will headline more than 70 aircraft at the static display at Long Beach Airport. AOPA will provide free shuttle bus service between the convention center and airport. Adam, American Champion, Aviat, Bombardier, Cessna, Cirrus, Diamond, EADS Socata, Epic, Extra, Lancair, Liberty Aerospace, Maule, Mooney, New Piper, Pilatus, Raytheon, Robinson Helicopter, Stemme AG, Symphony, and Twin Commander will all have aircraft on display. Lancair, Glasair, Vans, and Velocity, which provide aircraft kits for homebuilders, will also have aircraft in the static display.
"Educational opportunities abound at this year's Expo," said AOPA Senior Vice President of Products and Services Karen Gebhart. "Whether you're a new pilot or have been flying for several years, there are dozens of seminars offered over the three days that will improve your skills and safety. In 75 seminar hours, we cover such topics as "How To Save Your Life in an Aircraft Accident," "Single Pilot IFR," "Affordable Flying," "Fly-In Destinations in the West," and "Defensive Flying," plus the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's well-known Pinch- Hitter® course for nonpilots.
"Not only can you attend these great educational sessions, but you can shop for your favorite aviation products and attend some of AOPA Expo's fun social events," concluded Gebhart.
More information about AOPA Expo 2004 is available online.
Expo 2004 features DTC DUAT as its first-ever Platinum sponsor. DTC DUAT, one of the two government contractors that provide DUAT flight briefing service, will host an Internet Café where visitors will be able to check e-mail or get a preflight briefing online while at Expo.
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.
October 19, 2004