Happy 2014! Let’s Make It Count!

News & Information You’ll Want To Know In Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska & Iowa

by Yasmina Platt
Manager, AOPA Central Southwest Region

Happy New Year to everybody! I hope you ended 2013 well and that 2014 brings you even more happiness and flying. My “flying resolution for 2014” is to get my tailwheel endorsement and do more aerobatics training. The little aerobatics flying I have done to date definitely showed me that it can make you a better and safer pilot while improving “stick and rudder” skills. You know the saying, “A pilot is always learning…” and I truly believe in it and live by it.

If you are still trying to develop your New Year’s resolution, I encourage you to share your airport’s economic impact information with local officials, civic organizations, and other members of your community. If you live in Missouri, the 2012 Missouri Statewide Airports Economic Impact Study was recently released by the Missouri Department of Transportation. Directly and indirectly, Missouri’s 99 public-use general aviation airports and nine commercial-service airports accounted for $11.1 billion in economic output, or 4.3 percent of the state’s $258 billion gross state product. That volume translated to 100,621 jobs, or about one of every 35 jobs in the state’s overall work force. These types of reports are valuable resources for pilots to have to help educate local officials and the public on the economic benefits of community airports. They demonstrate how the economic return produced by an airport goes well beyond the tax dollars spent to operate and maintain the airport. “A strong aviation system in Missouri helps attract, maintain, and support business and industry growth, while creating jobs statewide, the report said. You can find a copy of it here: http://www.modot.org/othertransportation/aviation/2012study.htm.

The six AOPA “Regional Fly-ins” plus an “AOPA Homecoming” in Frederick, Maryland, have been announced.

The fly-in in our region will be held in San Marcos, Texas on April 26, 2014. I realize the location might be a bit far for some of you in the northern states, so consider attending one of the other fly-ins in a different region, or engaging with us in some of the other events I will be participating in, like the 2014 Nebraska State Fly-In in York, Neb. on June 7th; Fly Iowa 2014 in Iowa City, Iowa, scheduled for June 28-29; the Kansas Aviation Expo in Wichita later in the year; or the Missouri State Aviation Day in Jefferson City on April 8.

Whatever events you attend in 2014, always remember to bring family or friends with you, especially those who have always wondered about general aviation flying, but have never been given the chance to experience it.

I may have seen some of you already this year as I was in Kearney, Nebraska in late January for the Nebraska Aviation Symposium where I taught a pilot safety seminar and spoke about all the different flight planning tools AOPA has to offer.

Want to know more about what is happening in your region or state? Visit http://www.aopa.org/Advocacy/Airports-and-State-Advocacy.aspx, or follow me on Twitter @AOPACentralSW.

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