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Feature Article 2

FEATURE ARTICLE

Ralph Britton, President - PAAA (Palo Alto Airport Assoc) ralphbritton@comcast.net

Palo Alto Airport Association works to promote and support PAO

Airports need friends.  The local region has lost many airports due to urban expansion, developers coveting airport land for profitable development, and public lack of awareness of just how valuable a local airport is to the community.  Examples include Santa Cruz Sky Park, Tanforan, Fremont, and even an airport located in Mountain View at Middlefield Rd and San Antonio Rd.  Palo Alto Airport has had its detractors urging that it be closed and that the space used for variously a land fill, composting site and an expansion of the adjacent 2000 acre Baylands Park.

The Palo Alto Airport Association (PAAA) was formed to protect PAO and ensure that it continues to serve the community as the unique asset that it is. Our most important function is Airport Day, which serves to inform the local public about the valuable services the airport provides.  Airport Day is a family event to show services such as refueling of Stanford Hospital’s helicopters, providing access to Angel Flight’s charity medical flights and its critical role providing relief in an earthquake or other major incident.  We stress its educational role, offering flight training to many aspiring students.  This is in addition to its obvious purpose of providing transportation and supporting recreational flying.

In 2006, PAAA members together with some unaffiliated citizens were appointed by the Palo Alto City Council to form the Palo Alto Airport Working Group (PAAWG). The PAAWG report was instrumental in generating support for the City’s taking over the Airport from the County. That report demonstrated that a city-run airport would generate sufficient revenue to pay for its operation.  Further investigation by consultants hired by the City corroborated the findings of the PAAWG.  Had the City been unwilling to take over operation, it is questionable whether the airport could remain in operation.

The PAAA needs members for two important reasons.  Membership dues pay for outreach on behalf of the airport conducted by the PAAA and, equally important, a large membership lends legitimacy to PAAA as a responsible organization representing airport concerns to the City Council and the community. 

Please show your support for PAO by becoming a member of PAAA - sign-up at:  www.paloaltoairport.aero

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