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Mon, Oct 02, 2006

California Pilots To Meet

Aviators To Discuss Airports In The Golden State

The California Pilots Association (CPA), formed to resist  the closing of so many airports in that state, is having their annual meeting this coming weekend. If you love to fly and especially land in the state of California, you're invited.

The CPA, around 1,000 members strong, has been active in the past two decades as a state-wide, volunteer, non-profit public benefit corporation whose main mission of is one of general aviation airport advocacy.

They are a having their annual meeting Oct. 6 and 7 with a cocktail reception Friday night and a full day of speakers on Saturday discussing the shape of California general aviation.

This year's speakers include

  • Brian Terwilliger, who will be discussing his film "OneSixRight - The Romance of Flying", and the importance of California's general aviation airports.  The movie celebrates the busiest general aviation airport in the country, Van Nuys. Brian will also have "OneSixRight" DVD's for sale at the meeting.
  • Clay Lacy, an icon of general aviation, will be speaking about his life of flying and general aviation's importance to the state and country. Mr. Lacy's aviation experiences in Hollywood and flying celebrities around the world are well known and he should have some amazing stories.
  • Abel Maldonado, a California senator and  private pilot, will be discussing the importance of general aviation to the state. Senator Maldonado's experience in Sacramento should provide an interesting viewpoint in what really happens in the California political process.
  • Gary Rice, Santa Maria Airport Manager, will provide the welcome to his airport and discuss the improvements to the airport and the issues he faces. Here's an opportunity to get another perspective of an airport's importance and the problems associated with it from an airport manager's viewpoint.
  • John Pfeifer, AOPA's California Representative, has worked tirelessly on behalf of general aviation in the state. As AOPA's rep, John Pfeifer has significant insight regarding the many issues facing California's general aviation airports. Hear the background and real story behind  the sad closing of Rialto airport.

Santa Maria Airport (SMX) has the longest runway on California's central coast and is considered to be one the more small-plane-friendly airports in the Golden State. The meeting will be right on the field at the Radisson Airport Hotel with abundant aircraft parking facilities, so you won't even need a car.

FMI: www.calpilots.org

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