Reasons for optimism

October 5, 2009 by Craig Fuller

This past week I flew into Pittsfield Municipal Airport to speak to the Massachusetts Airport Management Association (MAMA). The airport is located in beautiful Berkshire County, Massachusetts, and it was a great opportunity to combine business and pleasure as I flew my Bonanza above the early fall foliage and terrific scenery.

Leaves begin to turn in Pittsfield, Mass.

Leaves begin to turn in Pittsfield, Mass.

Massachusetts is home to 37 general aviation airports, and the approximately 100 officials attending the conference serve in roles that are vital to preserving those airports–including positions as airport managers, members of the Massachusetts Aeronautical Commission, and area FAA representatives.

I love getting out and speaking to groups like this one because it gives me a great opportunity to hear about local concerns. While the details differ, the underlying issues are universal–airport encroachment, misguided legislation or taxation efforts, infrastructure needs.

This particular conference had a relaxed, informal atmosphere, and I was pleased by the excitement the audience showed over the General Aviation Serves America campaign–both our early successes and the work that remains ahead of us.

I left this event, as I do so many gatherings, with an acute awareness of the challenges ahead, and a profound optimism that the passion and cooperative spirit of the general aviation community will allow us to overcome any obstacles to ensuring a bright and vibrant future for GA.