Search This Blog

Monday, June 11, 2018

Sabo named new director of Winchester Regional Airport

Nicholas Sabo
     The Winchester Regional Airport Authority announced that Nicholas Sabo will be the new executive director of the airport and will begin working July 9th.
Sabo most recently served as the assistant manager of the Frederick Municipal Airport in Frederick, Md., and taught aviation curriculum at the Community College of Baltimore County as an adjunct faculty member.
     Sabo will replace the airport’s current executive director, Serena “Renny” Manuel who has worked at the airport in various roles for 32 years. She announced in January that she will retire this summer and her last day as executive director will be July 31st. She plans to spend time traveling with her husband during retirement.
     The Winchester Regional Airport is located at 491 Airport Road and is operated and maintained with a staff of five to include the airport director, operations supervisor, account clerk and two maintenance staff. The Authority also owns and operates Winchester Aviation, the fixed- base operator for the airport, which has six employees who provide services such as fueling and parking.
     As executive director, Sabo will have to ensure that the airport complies with federal and state regulations and orders. He will also work with local jurisdictions to continue the development of the airport to accommodate growth and future needs.
     Sabo holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Purdue University and a master of aeronautical science degree from Embry- Riddle Aeronautical University.
     After completing his undergraduate program, Sabo was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force as an airfield operations officer. During his military career, Sabo managed airfield operations at two stateside locations, completed two overseas deployments, and obtained a Control Tower Operator certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration.
Sabo is a private pilot and is recognized as an Accredited Airport Executive by the American Association of Airport Executives. In his spare time he enjoys music, travel and spending time with his wife, Mary and son, Henry.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Aviation License Plates Fund Virginia Education Programs


The Virginia Department of Aviation is transferring more than $60,000 to the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center to support aviation education in Virginia.

The funds (totaling $61,245 in 2017) were generated through the sale of the museum’s license plate, which features the iconic SR-71 Blackbird aircraft.  The license plate is one of the revenue-sharing partnerships of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.  For each $25 National Air and Space Museum license plate sold to Virginia motorists, $15 goes to support aviation education at the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly.  The Department of Aviation has transferred to the museum $300,000 in license plate funding over the last five years.

“This is a terrific program,” said Mark Flynn, director of the Virginia Department of Aviation.  “Aviation enthusiasts across the Commonwealth get an eye-catching Virginia license plate featuring a sleek, black aircraft streaking across it, and their purchases are supporting the outstanding aviation education programs of the National Air and Space Museum.”

Aviation is a $23 billion economic engine that supports 146,660 jobs in Virginia.  And numerous studies predict that tens of thousands of well-paying jobs (including pilots, mechanics and avionics technicians) will go unfilled over the next two decades unless more young people are exposed to aviation through such educational programs.

The Udvar-Hazy Center will use the license plate funds to provide the popular Innovations in Flight Day (scheduled for June 16); camps for middle school students to participate in STEM-related activities that include robotics, rocketry and drones, and engagement programs – such as a wind turbine design challenge, Lego Robotics and Family Game Nights – that connect communities to aviation.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport Helps Out Two Other Virginia Airports

     Kudos to Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport (CHO) Executive Director Melinda Crawford and her team  for helping improve navigation at Hanover County Municipal Airport and Hampton Roads Executive Airport.  CHO is donating a Localizer (LOC) to Hanover County Municipal Airport and Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) and an equipment building to Hampton Roads Executive Airport.
     A Localizer is the lateral component of the instrument landing system (ILS) for the runway centerline when combined with the vertical glide slope.  Aircraft use DME to determine their distance from a land-based transponder by sending and receiving pulse pairs – two pulses of fixed duration and separation.  DME and LOC are typically paired to provide an accurate distance-to-touchdown function.  
     Vernon Carter, the Virginia Department of Aviation’s security and facilities manager, said, “Most likely associated with development issues surrounding Hanover County Municipal Airport, the localizer system failed the latest flight check inspection due to being out of tolerance.  The most viable solution to correcting the problem was to replace the existing eight-element LOC antenna system with a 14-element system.  An idle 14-element system was located at the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport where airport management saw the need at Hanover County Municipal Airport and generously stepped up to help.  In addition, Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport is giving Hampton Roads Executive Airport the DME and equipment building to be used for the installation of an ILS there.  This is truly a great partnership.”
     While CHO donated the equipment, the Virginia Department of Aviation is providing the funding and expertise to dismantle the systems, move them from Charlottesville to Hanover County and to Hampton Roads, reassemble the systems and get them operational.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

New Tax Laws Will Impact General Aviation

The new federal tax law that took effect this month includes several provisions that impact the various segments of general aviation, from private owners with small airplanes to corporations with their own fleet of jets. Buyers of business aircraft now can immediately write off the entire cost of  their new or pre-owned aircraft. That’s good news for GA, says AOPA President Mark Baker. “We think the inclusion of immediate expensing for used as well as new investments will effectively spur economic growth and create good jobs, especially in aviation and the aircraft industry,” Baker said.
Overall tax cuts for businesses, not necessarily specific to aviation, already are driving growth in aviation, according to Ricky Sitomer, CEO of Star Jets International. “The private jet charter market is on fire right now,” Sitomer told Forbes. “The tax cuts that are fueling the market are fueling the private jet growth for Wall Street and Main Street alike.” The new tax bill also eliminates a long-standing rule that allowed deductions for certain entertainment expenses, if they were directly connected to the taxpayer’s business activities. NBAA says the change could affect many business-aircraft owners.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Virginia Department of Aviation gets new Director

Mark Flynn, a general aviation pilot and an attorney in private practice, has been named the new director of the Virginia Department of Aviation by Gov. Ralph Northam.  Flynn replaces Randy Burdette who served 13 years as the agency’s director.  Flynn was sworn in January 13th following the inauguration of Ralph Northam as Virginia’s 73rd governor.
Governor Northam said, “Mark is an accomplished local government attorney with extensive experience in aviation matters and is a licensed single-engine aircraft pilot with instrument, commercial and instructor ratings.”

Mark Flynn said, “I’m excited to be serving as the new director of the Virginia Department of Aviation and look forward to building on the many successes the agency had under Randy Burdette.  There are a number of challenges and opportunities facing aviation in Virginia, and I am honored to be Governor Northam’s choice to lead this progressive and forward-thinking agency.”
Flynn served 18 years as general counsel and chief lobbyist with the Virginia Municipal League, where he guided local governments on effectively serving the public.  He has also served as county attorney in Tazewell County and as city attorney for Winchester, Va.  More recently he provided local government legal services through his law firm, Woodley & Flynn, and lobbied for local governments through Advantus Strategies.  Flynn is the past president of the Virginia Local Government Attorney’s Association and the 2013 recipient of that organization’s Edward Finnegan Award for Distinguished Service.  He earned his bachelor’s degree at Virginia Tech and his juris doctorate from Washington & Lee University Law School.


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Director of Flight Operations Receives Water Salute

   The Director of Flight Operations and Safety, Steve Harris, will retire in February after five years with the Department.
   The Director of Maintenance, Jeff Taylor, coordinated an honorary water salute for Steve's last flight with DOAV. As you can see in the photo, two fire trucks make an arch of water as the airplane passes through. The staff gathered outside despite the cold weather to congratulate Steve.


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Virginia is one of the two test sites for the Aurora Orion UAS

The U.S. Air Force has awarded a new $48 million contract to Aurora Flight Sciences for the continued development of the Orion Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). The new contract funds the development of a certified version of Orion that will be suitable for deployment anywhere in the world. The work will be performed in Columbus, Mississippi, and Manassas, Virginia.

Orion is a twin-engine high performance UAS that can stay in the air over 100 hours at a time with payloads in excess of 1,000 pounds. Development of the Orion started in 2006 and its first flight was in August 2013.

In December 2014, the Orion established the current UAS world endurance record with an 80-hour, 2-minute and 52-second flight. A single Orion UAS can perform two days of persistent surveillance when operating from bases over 3,000 miles away from the target of interest.

Boeing acquired the Aurora in October 2017, giving the company the much needed financial and sales leverage.