The nation’s largest organization of civilian pilots and aircraft owners will hold their only West Coast fly-in event this spring at the Salinas Municipal Airport, officials announced Thursday.
One of just five events to be held across the nation in 2015, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the city will hold the fly-in in Salinas on May 16, according to Airport Manager Brett J. Godown.
Godown said the event will attract approximately 4,000 to 5,000 aviation enthusiasts and about 400 visiting aircraft.
“(We) competed against 40 other airports throughout the nation for the honor and benefit of hosting this event. The event is primarily a one-day event where attendees will be able to indulge in a pancake breakfast in the morning and food tasting from local restaurants for lunch, attend seminars on aviation safety and the latest aviation technologies, view static aircraft displays, and participate in a town-hall meeting with AOPA officials,” Godown said in a statement.
In an effort to ease aircraft arrival congestion on that Saturday, AOPA and Salinas Airport officials are developing Friday activities to entice attendees to arrive early. Such activities include a golf tournament at the Salinas Fairways, on-site camping, movie night at the airport, a flight training seminar in the early evening and live music.
“We hope visitors that attend the fly-in will come to learn and appreciate the day-to-day positive impacts the airport and general aviation contribute to the community,” Godown said.
According to AOPA spokesman Steve Hedges, the events are always free to the public and family-oriented.
“AOPA’s Fly-Ins provide a special opportunity for members to feel welcomed, relaxed, and connected with other pilots and enthusiasts. Whether you’re an aircraft owner, experienced pilot, rusty pilot, new pilot, student pilot, or just plain crazy about airplanes, an AOPA Fly-In has something for you,” Hedges said in a press release.