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Events: Make it to Manassas

AOPA Aviator Showcase set for HEF on August 27

Airport Director Juan E. Rivera has served the Manassas Regional Airport/Harry P. David Field (HEF) for nearly 20 years. It’s a role he has embraced and an airport he is exceptionally proud of.
A sign made from aircraft parts at a northern Virginia airfield frames Boeing B-29 Superfortress ‘Doc’ during preparation for the September 25, 2020, Arsenal of Democracy flyover of Washington, D.C., to recognize the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day. AOPA Photo by David Tulis.

A private pilot since college, he rarely gets a chance to fly over the bucolic landscape of north-central Virginia, but he is understandably proud of the opportunity he provides other pilots.

“We have a great safety record here at Manassas Regional Airport,” he said. “I am proud that this is a safe place to land and I enjoy meeting and talking to pilots. I have two kids and that’s where my disposable income goes, but I hope to get back in the air again soon.”

Manassas Regional Airport, established in 1964, now has two runways—6,200 feet by 100 feet and 3,700 feet by 75 feet—400 based aircraft, five flight schools, and 26 based businesses. It is the busiest general aviation airport in the commonwealth of Virginia. The airport will be hosting the AOPA Aviator Showcase August 27 with AOPA and the Chantilly Jet Center.

“I encourage pilots to come to the showcase and to Manassas Regional Airport,” Rivera said. “There will be lots of opportunities to talk to people in the industry and find out what’s going on in aviation. Manassas city is a great place; our downtown is flourishing, and we have unique shops, great restaurants, and a lot of things to do.”

Much smaller and more intimate than other AOPA events, the one-day consumer-focused event will connect pilots and aircraft owners with aviation businesses ranging from aircraft and avionics manufacturers to product stores and service shops, financiers, and insurers. The showcase features an exhibit hall, aircraft display, and educational seminars—the three most popular offerings at AOPA events.

More than 50 exhibitors have already committed to the August 27 event. “Aviation manufacturers, service shops, and suppliers are as excited as we are about the AOPA Aviator Showcases bringing the aviation community together,” said Chris Eads, AOPA senior director of outreach and events.

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Julie Walker

Julie Summers Walker

AOPA Senior Features Editor
AOPA Senior Features Editor Julie Summers Walker joined AOPA in 1998. She is a student pilot still working toward her solo.

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