In a state where general aviation aircraft are as critical to everyday transportation as cars and trucks, Alaskan pilots and airport managers use every opportunity possible to enhance their skills and ensure that they maintain positive relations with airport neighbors, national park representatives, and city officials. And every year, on the first weekend in May, the state’s aviation community comes together at the annual Alaska State Aviation Trade Show and Conference to work toward that end.
This annual event, sponsored by the Alaska Airmen’s Association, is a great opportunity for AOPA to engage with pilots in the land of the Midnight Sun. Once again, AOPA had a big presence at the conference, as Airport Support Network (ASN) Director Joey Colleran, Alaska Regional Representative Tom George, and Northwest Regional Representative Mike Ferguson attended the conference to work with Alaska ASN volunteers, meet with the newly formed Alaska Airports Association, and talk about the many challenges facing general aviation.
During the conference, Colleran conducted a seminar on airport advocacy, and George focused on conducting safe overflights of Denali. In addition, Colleran presented at the Alaska Airports Association training session May 3. The session was designed to help airport managers and employees learn how to effectively manage airports.
“We came to Alaska for the airmen’s conference to continue AOPA’s efforts to develop stronger relationships with aviation leaders in Alaska and get a firsthand look at critical aviation issues in the state,” Colleran said. “We are actively engaged in numerous advocacy issues in Alaska, and visiting the state to work with pilots, airport managers, and other leaders always helps us better understand the special nature of aviation in Alaska, making us better advocates for our members.”