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.