Janurary/February 2002 Letters to the Editor


Airports Across the Pond

I don’t know if you are aware but many pilots in the UK hold up GA in the USA as a panacea and something only to be dreamed of over here. I don’t think many of us realise that you are subject to the same pressures against your facilities and the same imperatives to defend your liberties. I’m sure the fact that we can look so enviously upon GA in the USA is in no small part the result of the vigilance of people such as yourselves and the support you find within your “user community.”

Such support is something that we as an industry seem to be struggling with. The UK, and therefore our pilot population particularly, is very small in comparison to the US. and that puts us at a disadvantage already. Our situation is not helped by the fact that for whatever reasons, those who stand to lose most seem reluctant to engage in efforts to defend their liberties.

As an example I understand that AOPA US enjoys the membership of some 50% of the pilot population over there, whereas over here support for AOPA UK is around the 20% mark (I don’t recall the exact figures, and they have enjoyed a recent increase in membership).

It is in an attempt to address this lack of grass roots support that we set up A4A. Our intention is to not so much represent people, or lobby on their behalf, for which we already have well established organisations.

Rather we aim to provide a resource which educates, informs and helps individuals to express support themselves where and when it is needed. It’s a slow process and quite a learning curve for us, but we figure that if we keep plugging away people will eventually become as aware of the threats to their liberties as they are the more pleasurable things in aviation life.

Mark Harrison
on behalf of Action for Airfields

Centennial of Flight Notices

The California Department of Transportation (Department) Division of Aeronautics is encouraging the aviation industry to celebrate the centennial of its birth by creating public events commemorating the accomplishments of Orville and Wilbur Wright on December 17, 1903.

The growth of global aviation and aerospace over the past 98 years has been phenomenal, and will continue to contribute to our economic and social well being.

The industry has an opportunity to demonstrate to the general public how aviation and aerospace benefits our daily lives, as well as exploring new frontiers. The nation is commemorating this historic occasion through the U .8. Centennial of Flight Commission.

As you plan events to celebrate the Centennial in California, please inform the Department and the U .8. Centennial of Flight Commission. You may send details of your event to the Department by fax at (916) 653-9531, via e-mail at Teresa Ishikawa@dot.ca.gov, or to the following address:

R. Austin Wiswell, Chief
Division of Aeronautics
California Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 942874 M.S.# 40
Sacramento, CA 94274-0001

The Commission’s web site, centennial of flight, is informative, and can assist you in scheduling your event during 2003.

R. Austin Wiswell, Chief
Division of Aeronautics, Caltrans
Sacramento, California


Good website. Your list of anti-airport organizations (compared to the short pro-airport list) should be a wake-up call to all who are involved in aviation in any way.

Pandering to these anti-aviation groups by politicians over the last 20 years has only resulted in even more calls for closing airports. See the latest example in Santa Monica: $10,000 fine for violating their noise limits!

Keep up your good work.

Jim Gates
Torrance, CA

Saw the new site! Congrats. Looks good.

Please list “Friends of the Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport” (www.friendsoftheairport.com) as a Pro-Aviation group under California.

J. Richard Peck
Santa Rosa, California

To find aviation’s good guys and bad guys, check out www.prep.org -Ed.