Friday, May 18, 2007

Delaware Aviation Conference

Thursday May 17, 2007

I managed to get signed up at the last minute and spent my work day attending the First Annual Delaware Aviation Conference. The conference was put on by the Delaware Pilots Association, which I am now a member of, and they hosted speakers from the FAA North east region and the Harrisburg Airport District Office. The Harrisburg ADO provides funding for our Delaware Airport projects.

The FAA talked about the hot topic "user fees" and in my opinion didn't really wow me all that much. He didn't seem prepared and avoided answering question that required a direct answer.....the ole beat around the bush routine. We got the low down on the "Next Gen" ATC wish list and some other current topic explanations.

I was really impressed with the Airport Manager from KESN, Mike Henry. This guy had it together, was very well spoken and had some interesting ideas for obtaining funding and working with the airport neighbors. A tip of the cap to this man for all he does and for all the positive work on behalf of GA. You folks at Easton are in very good hands!

Steve Williams, DRBA Airport Director gave a detailed report on the current and future plans for KILG and 33N, both airports operated by the Delaware River and Bay Authority. Steve has some really great ideas and his leadership skills and vision will serve the GA airports well. I hope he gets the backing from the FAA and the executives at the Authority.

The AOPA was represented and of course addressed user fees and the ongoing battle. Greg P? provided a detailed power point presentation (Phil Boyer's) and answered questions with out any problems. Nice to see my dues at work! By the way if your keeping score the AOPA smoked the FAA in this conference!

Finally the fun part of the day......looking at airplanes! The conference was held at the Dover AFB Air Mobility Command Museum so I was like a kid in a candy shop! I checked out the B17, C130, C141 and so many more. This place is easy to get to and fun to spend time reading and viewing these aircraft from our military history. Pictured top left is the F101B and on the right the F106 Delta Dart. Both type of aircraft represented flew out of DAFB.

The B17 "Sleepy Time Gal" nose art and front shot. I crawled all around this beauty and had a blast! They had a ball turrent or belly gunner set aside from the aircraft so that you could get a good look...I wouldn't fit in there, nor would I want to.

As I was leaving I managed to time it pretty good as I clicked off some C5 final approach shots....