General Aviation (GA) airports are under constant attack from development and land use issues. There is a lack of understanding regarding airports contributions to the local and state economy, as well as their part in the state’s transportation infrastructure.
When originally built, the airport was typically placed in an area with little development around it. As the community matures and grows, the airport typically has to deal with inappropriate development proposals, which in most cases the airport sponsor has little understanding of, or is ignoring due to dealing with pressure to allow said development. The result is our GA airports are being closed at an alarming rate.
The general public, including most politicians and government officials, have little understanding of the value of their airport. They don’t understand its place in the transportation infrastructure hierarchy. In fact, most don’t even understand that an airport is part of the transportation infrastructure in the state and nationally.
Unfortunately, this lack of understanding fosters the perception that airports are for the rich and not the general public, which is simply not true. As pilots and aviation advocates, we must change that perception through education. In the meantime, we need to work much harder at promotion, preservation and the protection of this important community asset – the community airport.
It is very important for the pilot/aviation advocate to educate him/herself regarding these issues. It is difficult to communicate effectively regarding an issue when everyone is not on the same page. The CalPilots web site is an excellent place to start your education process with the myriad of airport specific information available there.
CALIFORNIA PILOTS ASSOCIATION MISSION: The California Pilots Association is a non-profit public benefit California Corporation formed in 1949. The mission of our statewide volunteer organization is to preserve, protect and promote the state’s general aviation airports, as well as pilot’s rights.
We have long recognized that the state’s general aviation airports are more than irreplaceable transportation infrastructure assets.
Studies have confirmed the financial benefits of general aviation airports as regional economic engines.
They also serve as disaster recovery centers – demonstrated during the now annual wild fires across the state, and in the past during the major earthquakes.
Airports also serve as an alternate means of travel and are as important as the highway system serving the community and they deserve just as much attention and reasonable funding.
Please Join Us
Times have changed; the large national pilot organizations do an admirable job, but can no longer do it all, therefore every one of us has to become more involved. Ask yourself, if not you, who will protect your airport?
CalPilots 3-Tiered Airport Defense Strategy
Everyone has to do more if we are to preserve our airports
Every pilot should belong to all airport/pilot orgs in the three tier strategy – don’t be penny wise and dollar foolish regarding these issues
No matter how busy we are, each of us can do something – regardless of how small