Pilots in South Carolina and neighboring states flocked to the 2015 Southeast Aviation Expo at Greenwood County Airport in June for some Southern hospitality, education, and entertainment at the South Carolina Aviation Association’s annual pilot-focused trade show. The expo included an exhibitor’s trade show, a Rusty Pilots seminar presented by AOPA, legislation updates, and a bluegrass concert in the southern South Carolina town on June 27 and 28.
AOPA joined other exhibitors at the event informing and educating pilots from Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama.
Jared Esselman, AOPA director of state government affairs, gave a shout-out to South Carolina’s pilots for taking an active role in winning a newly signed sales tax exemption for aviation repairs that helps lower costs for general aviation maintenance across the Palmetto State.
“Working together, our members’ voices and concerns are highlighted to local and state lawmakers,” said Esselman. “And by engaging with aeronautics divisions and state associations, AOPA is able to build strong aviation coalitions both regionally and within individual states.” Gov. Nikki Haley signed a measure reducing the sales tax on repairs beginning Jan. 1, 2016.
While Esselman visited with AOPA members and answered their questions, he noted that the association’s popular Rusty Pilots program encouraging lapsed pilots back into the air has attracted more than 4,400 registrations to date.
The expo coincided with Greenwood's Festival of Flowers and included a car show, an airshow, and radio-controlled airplane demonstrations.