I’ve been a private pilot for about 23 years. For almost all of that time I’ve been a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilot’s Association (AOPA). AOPA is basically a group that lobbies for rights of pilots and aircraft owners with lawmakers and also puts out a magazine on all things airplane. I’m no longer an AOPA member because they don’t represent me as an ultralight pilot but I still get their emails. Even though I’m not into general aviation any longer I still like to keep up with what’s going on out there.
Well, this morning I got an email from AOPA for a safety seminar they would be sponsoring at Moffet Field in Sunnyvale, CA. Moffet Field started out as a Navy blimp base just prior to WWII and was a Naval Air Station for years and years. The Navy has since pulled out and turned oversite of the field over to NASA as they were still flying their variant of the U-2 spy plane called the ER-2. Eventually other government agencies joined in the fun and now it’s Moffet Federal Airfield. A huge barely used airport in the heart of Silicon Valley in the San Francisco Bay Area.
It would seem the most logical way for pilots to attend a safety seminar at an airport would be to fly in. However, you can’t fly in to this big beautiful airport. You must drive there, check in at the gate, and proceed as if it were still an active military base. Which, technically it really isn’t. I mean, Google is allowed to operate their airplanes there. But not you or I.
Look, I’m sure Moffet has some great meeting facilities and the gate guards will be super friendly and helpful but to me that’s not the point. I just think that all groups that are about promoting anything with aviation and pilots specifically should plan for their events to be held at a field were pilots can fly their planes to the event. I know, in the grand scheme of things it’s probably nothing.