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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Virginia Aviation Conference Highlights Aviation Month in Virginia

Nearly 300 airport managers and sponsors, consultants, Virginia Aviation Board members, industry professionals and other members of Virginia’s aviation community gathered at The Homestead in Hot Springs for the 38th annual Virginia Aviation Conference August 14-17.

The 4-day conference, which took place during the annual Aviation Month in Virginia, and was sponsored by the Virginia Airport Operators Council (VAOC), the Virginia Department of Aviation (DOAV), the Virginia Aviation Board (VAB) and the Virginia Business Aviation Association (VABA) kicked off with welcoming remarks from VAOC President Bill Kelly, Bath County Tourism Director Maggie Anderson, DOAV Director Randall Burdette and keynote speaker, Christa Fornarotto, Associate Administrator for Airports, Federal Aviation Administration.

 (Randall Burdette, Bill Kelly, Christa Fornarotto and Courtney Beamon)

Luncheon speaker and Virginia Secretary of Transportation, Sean T. Connaughton, thanked conference attendees for “providing gateways for people to come in and out of the state”. He also expressed his appreciation for air transportation and Virginia’s airports for helping to drive the Commonwealth’s economy.

(Virginia Secretary of Transportation, Sean Connaughton)

The Virginia Aviation Awards Banquet was held Wednesday night. Keith Holt was named “Virginia Airport Manager of the Year” for his achievements at the New River Valley Airport. Courtney Beamon of Delta Airport Consultants, Inc., Greg Campbell of Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport and Bill Kelly of New Kent County Airport received the “Virginia Aviation Person of the Year” award in recognition of their significant roles in aviation in Virginia. Graham Pitsenberger was honored with the “Virginia Aviation Lifetime Achievement Award” for his lifetime contributions not only to the Commonwealth, but the national aviation community as well. Rick Rahim, Richard Merrill and Richard Largent were recognized as the most active Young Eagles pilots in the Commonwealth. Bob McCullar of the FAA received special recognition for establishing instrument approach procedures at each of Virginia’s eligible public-use airports. Andy Gibbs also received special recognition for educating hundreds of pilots nationally and internationally while positively impacting Virginia’s Aviation community through his love of flying and helicopters.

(Sen. and Mrs.Charles Colgan)

Just before lunch with Senator Charles J. Colgan on Thursday, airport managers, sponsors and consultants had the opportunity to participate in roundtable discussions with the respective region’s Virginia Aviation Board member. The results of those discussions were reported later that afternoon in the Virginia Aviation Board Workshop. The 2012 Virginia Aviation Conference concluded with the August Virginia Aviation Board meeting on Friday morning where Virginia’s public use airports received their annual tentative allocations of state funds for capital projects.

Visit our flickr page to view photos from the event.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Governor McDonnell Appoints New Virginia Aviation Board Members

On July 6, 2012, Governor Bob McDonnell announced the appointments of John Mazza, Jr., President of Medallion Pools, as Virginia Aviation Board director and David L. Young, Dean of the School of Aeronautics at Liberty University and President of Freedom Aviation as a Virginia Aviation Board member.
Today, August 10, 2012, Governor McDonnell announced the appointment of Mr. Robert H. Hahn, the Virginia Aviation Board. All board members will be in attendance at the upcoming VAB meeting during the Virginia Aviation Conference at The Homestead in Hot Springs, VA on August 17, 2012 at 9:30am.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Memorial Service Scheduled for Former DOAV Director

Kenneth Rowe, former Virginia Department of Aviation director passed away on Sunday, July 29, 2012.  He played a critical role in the development of Virginia’s entire aviation system.  He was a World War II veteran, dedicated to the Commonwealth and will certainly be missed.

Randy Burdette (L) presented Ken Rowe (R) the Virginia Aviation Lifetime Achievement Award in August 2009.

His memorial service will be held at the Virginia Aviation Museum in Richmond on Friday, August 10th at 2 p.m.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Stats are in!

The attendance for 2012 EAA AirVenture was 508,000, with more than 10,000 aircraft arriving at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh and other airports in east-central Wisconsin. Showplane numbers total 2,489 including 978 homebuilt aircraft, 907 vintage airplanes, 336 warbirds, 105 ultralights, 97 seaplanes, 35 aerobatic aircraft and 31 rotorcraft.

“We are pleased that attendance has topped one-half million again. That is a tremendous total considering the intensely hot weather, storms, and struggles in the overall economy. The aviation community knows that Oshkosh is the place to be to find out what’s new, and actually buy new equipment, components, and aircraft." says EAA president/CEO Rod Hightower. “Expect bigger and better things for 2013 - certainly continuous improvements in what we call the visitor experience. Stay tuned for many announcements about the 2013 fly-in and the history-making surprises that can be found only at Oshkosh.”

For more photos from 2012 EAA AirVenture visit our flickr page!