AOPA staff, volunteers, and the staff of the host fixed-base operator are ready for a crowd to arrive by air, land, and sea for the third AOPA Fly-In of 2017, Oct. 6 and 7 in Groton, Connecticut. Arrivals can expect expert handling from the AOPA team, along with the host FBO, which has served general aviation since 1980.
Presenting sponsor Columbia Aircraft Sales is part of a group of companies founded by Art Maurice and Harry Holt. Groton-New London Airport is the firm’s home base, and the AOPA Fly-In also will be an occasion for the owners and staff to celebrate a re-branding, with a new logo and a new tagline: “Because experience matters.”
“We have some line guys that have been on for 15 years,” Dunn said. “I focus on the people, because the people make the facility.”
By the time the combined enterprise celebrates 40 years in business in 2020, six members of the staff will have logged 30 years of service.
The FBO, maintenance shop, and aircraft sales operation has seen a couple of name and branding changes over the years, and the new logo is both a tribute to the company’s roots and a reflection of its effort to modernize. The visual elements of the logo include the twin-engine Piper Cheyenne and the tall ship Columbia, for which the company was named, acknowledging the maritime tradition that goes back to the original colonists. New London is also the home of the U.S. Navy’s original submarine base, and one of the original submarine makers, Electric Boat.
“2020 marks a milestone year for GA with the full implementation of ADS-B and NextGen, and a big year for Columbia,” said Columbia companies co-founder Maurice. “We’re planning now for that future to help our customers grow along with the industry. We’ve made significant improvements to our line, avionics and maintenance offerings, and stand truly ready to meet the needs of today’s owners and pilots, with aircraft sales offerings ranging from entry-level pistons to top-performing business turboprops including the Piper M600 and the Daher TBM series.”