planning an open house by rabbisendak

VIEWS: 231 PAGES: 28

									The Complete Guide to Holding an Airport Open House

                A Publication of the AOPA Airport Support Network
        Planning Timeline – Start Early!
        This section highlights some of the more specific items you may consider in beginning to plan your event.
        Please see the detailed checklist contained at the end of this publication.

   • Pick the date/times and organize committee
   • Obtain Approval of airport sponsor                                                   12 months
   • Check Insurance requirements

   • Plan general outline of days activity
   • Plan financial needs & budget and identify co-sponsors                               11 months
   • Identify static display aircraft

   • Contact other civic groups for participation
   • Begin fund raising events                                                            10 months
   • Spread the word to local airport tenants/businesses

   • Divide tasks to specific committee members
   • Create public relations package to promote                                           9 months
   • FAA tower coordination?

   • Security needs defined
   • Determine concession needs                                                           8 months
   • Coordination with local fire officials

   • Define areas on the airport
   • Identify vendors/exhibitors                                                          7 months
   • Identify press/media sources for promotion

   • Obtain Volunteers for event day
   • Arrange port-a-johns, water needs, rest areas, etc.
                                                                                          6 months

NOTE: Planning and above continue until all tasks completed.

Promote, Promote, Promote!                                                               1 month
              •   Notify media, circulate prepared press releases
              •   Final planning meeting with all participants
              •   Early arrival of volunteers
              •   Last minute briefing
        merica’s airports face more challenges than even           Trespassing! Authorized Personnel Only!” and you may

A       before. For every airport that is directly threat-
        ened, countless others are under scrutiny—from
developers wishing to build on the airport; from air-
                                                                   have to punch in some sort of secret code to get
                                                                   through a security gate blocking access to the airfield.

port neighbors complaining about overflights or noise;
or even from airport sponsors struggling to understand                    Facilitating Exposure
the facility’s value to the community.                             Facilitating exposure
    While general aviation pilots appreciate the local air-             General aviation, and many general aviation air-
port and look forward to going there, the nonflying                ports, are neither very visible nor very hospitable to the
public lacks awareness of and frequently is apathetic              nonflying public. The unfortunate exception to this lack
toward that airport.                                               of visibility is if an accident occurs. No matter if the
    That’s not universally true, of course, but it certainly       accident takes place locally, regionally, or even national-
describes the situation in hundreds, if not thousands, of          ly, the media will jump on the story. The ensuring cov-
communities across the country. At best the community              erage simply reinforces any latent fears the public may
may be vaguely aware that there is a “little” airport              harbor about the safety and wisdom of flying in small
located somewhere outside of town that caters to those             aircraft.
“Piper Cubs” occasionally seen buzzing about. Ask                       The problem, then, is exposure. On the one hand,
them if they’ve ever been to the airport, and most will            lack of physical exposure to the public is an impediment
shake their heads no. They probably couldn’t even give             to better understanding of general aviation and the
directions on how to drive there.                                  many ways in which it benefits the larger community.
    Why is that? Why is it that many general aviation              On the other hand, when there is exposure having to
airports are ignored, perhaps even shunned as irrelevant           do with an awareness of general aviation, chances are it
and dangerous, by much of the public? Are we, as                   will be negative in perception—like the exposure that
pilots and aircraft owners, to blame for keeping the               follows an accident.
public in the dark about the benefits of a community                    The question that
airport, or are people simply prejudiced against small             general aviation pilots
aircraft and general aviation airports?                            and aircraft owners
                                                                   should ask is, How
                                                                   can we get better
Lack of Contact                                                    exposure, both physi-
Lack of contact                                                    cal exposure and
    A big part of the problem with general aviation’s              awareness, of our
poor visibility and, ultimately, lack of acceptance in the         airport and of general
community is the fact that relatively few people have              aviation? How can we
direct contact with a general aviation airport, especially         showcase general avia-
when compared with an airline airport. Most people                 tion and demonstrate
living in or near a city with scheduled airline service can        how it benefits the
tell you where that airport is located. That’s because             community?
many have been there at least once to travel someplace,                 They are critical
or to drop off or pick up someone else who is                      questions. In the
traveling.                                                         absence of knowledge
    An airport that serves general aviation exclusively            and communication,
may have more activity, measured in takeoffs and land-             people assume the
ings, than an airline airport. But because most of the             worst. For example, if
public does not travel in general aviation aircraft, they          someone new to this
have no specific reason to go to the airport. It is most           country based his opinion of the public school system
likely situated well out of town and, except for a sign,           only on what he saw on the evening news, he would
may not even be visible from the road. Because they are            perceive it as out of control and suffering from perva-
relatively small and quiet, general aviation aircraft may          sive lawlessness at the hands of roving, maniacal, gun-
come and go at the local airport with few in the com-              toting adolescents. If the same person paid a visit to
munity even being aware of the activity.                           their local elementary, middle, or high school, however,
    Even if people are aware of the local general avia-            they would likely find a learning, loving, and protective
tion airport, they probably don’t feel as if they are wel-         environment for our children. We’ve all heard about
come to just drop in for a visit. In fact, many airports           violent acts committed by young students, but they are
give the same stay-away impression as a sealed-off mili-           rare events. Even so, it’s easy for our emotions, and
tary base. Everything is fenced, there are numerous                therefore our opinions, to be influenced by what is
signs bearing ominous warnings such as “No                         reported rather than what actually exists at our local

   It’s much the same with general aviation. If all that         ty are aware of the businesses that operate at the air-
people know about general aviation is the generally              port, providing jobs and contributing to the local econ-
negative news they see on television, hear on the radio,         omy? How many know the strategic role the airport
and read in newspapers and general-interest magazines,           plays in serving the region’s transportation needs? How
they can’t help but form a one-dimensional image and             many know of the airport’s critical role in supporting
end up with a negatively biased opinion.                         public safety? An open house with static displays,
                                                                 exhibits, tours, presentations, and the like can go a long
                                                                 way in opening the community’s eyes to the airport’s
Give Them a Reason                                               true purpose and value.
Give them a reason                                                   Of course, an open house also is an excellent way to
    The good news is that we pilots can be effective in          prospect for new converts to aviation. Whether it’s a
our local communities at building an understanding of            local business owner who is made aware of the concept
and support for general aviation. How we do that gets            and availability of charter-
back to the question posed earlier: How can we get               ing aircraft, a high school
better exposure, both physical exposure and awareness,           student who is awakened
of our airport and of general aviation?                          to the excellent opportuni-
                                                                 ties awaiting in the aircraft
    By inviting the public out to the airport to have a
                                                                 maintenance field, or a               Tip:
look around, that’s how. When you’re curious about
                                                                 young professional who is             Make it a
something, nothing beats having a look for yourself.
                                                                 inspired to act on her                point to
That’s the simple goal of having an open house at your
                                                                 longstanding interest in              issue special
airport—to give the public an opportunity to look for
                                                                 learning to fly, you never            open-house invitations to
themselves, to see and enjoy the fascinating variety
                                                                 know who will respond—                people and organizations
inherent in general aviation, and to learn about the
                                                                 or how—to the opportu-                that have been critical of
good deeds performed, the business conducted, and the
                                                                 nities on display at an air-          the airport for some rea-
public safety functions made possible.
                                                                 port open house.                      son. Let them know they
    All it takes for someone with the slightest bit of
                                                                     At its core, however,             will be official VIPs and
interest or curiosity to come out to the airport is a rea-
                                                                 an open house should not              will receive guided tours,
son and an invitation. Invite them to come take an up-
                                                                 be an exercise in preach-             special seating, and other
close-and-personal look at a single-engine family air-
                                                                 ing to the choir. Yes,                personal attention. They
craft, an experimental design someone has built in their
                                                                 everyone in aviation is               may not come, but they
garage, an emergency medical service helicopter, a
                                                                 properly interested in                may very well send mem-
workaday charter twin, or a proud old warbird.
                                                                 bringing new people into              bers of their family in
    Offer them a chance to take an inexpensive ride in
                                                                 the fold. That should be              their place. The gesture
an airplane or helicopter. Show them an airport control
                                                                 one of the stated objec-              will be remembered.
tower, a pilot’s flight-planning area, and an aircraft
maintenance shop. Give them demonstrations of the                tives of holding an open
expertise and equipment of local fire and rescue squads,         house. But the primary
educate them with informational and product exhibits,            goal ought to be opening
and entertain them with music, clowns, and activities.           the gates to a curious
In short, hold an open house at your airport, and invite         public. Show them what’s
the public in.                                                   behind those gates and fences, and you’ll go a long way
    Your airport’s not threatened, and it already enjoys a       toward bridging a gulf of understanding and building a
good relationship with the local community? Great!               positive, productive relationship with the community.
But you should still think about holding a public event              You’ll be in good company. Successful airport open
at your airport. One aggressive developer can quickly            houses are held across the country each year. From
change that situation—that’s already happened too                Albert Whitted Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, to
many times. Besides, a GA airport can never have too             Baraboo Wisconsin Dells
much community support.                                          in Baraboo, Wisconsin;
                                                                 from Morgantown
                                                                 Municipal Airport in
                                                                 West Virginia to Aurora
Opening Eyes                                                     State Airport in Aurora,
Opening Eyes                                                     Oregon—even at Kona
    An open house is an excellent way to begin to build          International at Keahole
a good relationship with the community served by the             Airport in Kailua,
airport. It’s an opportunity to present a more complete          Hawaii—open houses
picture of what really goes on at the airport than people        have increased public
see just driving by. How many people in the communi-             awareness of the airport.

                                                                  eral public to the airport? Is it to put a positive face on
Begin Early                                                       an airport that has suffered from negative publicity?
Begin Early                                                       How about to prospect for potential flight training cus-
    So you’ve decided to hold an open house at your               tomers, aircraft buyers, etc? Each of these objectives is
airport, or you’re at least thinking about the possibility.       excellent, but by making one of them the primary goal,
Great! Deciding to have one is the easy part. Now it              you establish a clear mission that will guide your
has to be organized and staged, and that’s when it                planning efforts.
begins to get tough. Don’t fool yourself into thinking                For example, Van Nuys Airport, north of Los
an airport open house can be planned over a few infor-            Angeles, California, conducts an annual Aviation Expo
mal meetings starting a couple weeks before the sched-            with the objective of giving something back to the
uled event. It can’t.                                             community most affected by airport operations. It’s the
    If there is one piece of advice that comes through            busiest general aviation airport in the world, and it’s
loud and clear from anyone who has ever been involved             situated in the center of a residential community. Van
in planning an airport open house, it is this: Start              Nuys Expo organizers seek to foster goodwill for the
planning early. A year in advance of the planned event            airport within that community.
is not too soon.                                                      Residents pay no admission fee to see Expo, a two-
    Why such a drawn-out planning process? For one,               day event featuring a major airshow, static displays, and
you’ve got to come up with a reliable group of hard-              exhibits, among other attractions. Corporate sponsors
working assistants, either volunteers or, if circumstances        and municipal funding cover the cost of staging the
permit, paid professional staff. For another, there are           event. Meanwhile, Expo planners donate a portion of
several fundamental decisions that must be made about             concession proceeds to 20 area nonprofit agencies that
the nature of the event. Potential exhibitors and owners          provide volunteers to help staff the event. During the
of display aircraft must be identi-                               1990s, the Van Nuys Expo generated more than a
fied, contacted, and signed up.                                   quarter-million dollars for area youth and service
    It may be necessary to                                        organizations.
apply for and receive vari-                                           Reid-Hillview Airport in metropolitan San Jose,
ous local and FAA permits                                         California, has been under attack for years by hostile
and approvals. And there                                          local elected officials intent on closing the important
are countless details to                                          general aviation reliever airport. One way airport sup-
identify, supplies to obtain,                                     porters counter that offensive is by building local resi-
and tasks to assign before                                        dential support for the airport. In fact, Reid-Hillview’s
the first eager visitor                                           annual Aviation Day open house carries the theme
arrives on open-house day.                                        “Your Airport, Your Community.” Cultural exhibits
    Organizing an airport                                         and demonstrations highlighting the largely ethnic
open house, even a modest                                         communities surrounding the airport are a big part of
effort with no fly-bys or air-                                    the day’s festivities.
show, is a Herculean task,                                            The annual fall Plant City Strawberry Air Fest, east
especially if it’s being done for                                 of Tampa, Florida, does double duty as a community-
the first time. Experience is of immeasurable help, but           sponsored family fun day out at the airport, and also as
if you’ve never been involved in such an endeavor, how            an introduction to aviation for nonpilots, especially
do you even know where to begin?                                  youth. Some 400 to 500 kids get to take a Young
                                                                  Eagles first flight during the Air Fest, courtesy of two
                                                                  area Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) chapters.
First Things First                                                    Articulate a mission or objective for your open
First Things First                                                house, and base your planning on that.
    The decision to hold an airport open house is just
the first of many important decisions to be made. What                Airshow or no? Two things
kind of open house do you envision? Who will sponsor              are certain if you hold an airshow in
it? Who will organize it? How much will it cost?                  conjunction with an airport open
Following are some of the basic decisions that must be            house. First, you’ll attract a much
made very early in the game in order for detailed, spe-           bigger crowd with an afternoon of
cific planning to begin.                                          precision aerobatics and high-per-
                                                                  formance aircraft demonstrations
    Establish an objective. What do you and your                  than if your open house has no air-
group hope to accomplish by having an airport open                show component. Second, the com-
house? Is your objective to promote the use and value             plexity of planning an open house,
of the airport to the community by attracting the gen-            and the cost of staging it, rise expo-
                                                                  nentially if it includes an airshow.

    If you think your event should include an airshow,            seek weekend outdoor activities. However, consider
see “So You’re Considering an Airshow?” on page 13.               that your open house will compete for attention with
    Aside from safety, economics, and planning consid-            many other area summer weekend activities, many of
erations, there is a philosophical issue for airport open-        which offer better food, music, people-watching, and
house planners and sponsors to consider in deciding               participatory activities than an airport open house.
whether or not to have an airshow: Will an airshow                    Before committing to a date, check with the local
contribute to achieving the objectives set by organizers?         chamber of commerce, parks and recreation depart-
If the primary objective of the open house is to raise            ment, and other entities to see whether any community
funds for a cause or organization, a well-managed air-            events are already scheduled for your proposed date. If
show can certainly go a long way toward achieving that            there is another event planned, can you use it to raise
goal because of the crowds it will generate. If the pri-          interest and leverage attendance at your open house? If
mary objective of having an open house is to educate              you cannot, consider an alternate date.
the community about the transportation, economic,                     During the summer airshow and fly-in season, you
public safety, and lifestyle benefits of having a vibrant         may find that it’s more difficult to line up performers
local general aviation airport, however, then it can be           and static display aircraft. With the burgeoning number
argued that an airshow may actually be a distraction.             of airshows and fly-ins around the country, availability
    The noise, commotion, and crowds associated with              of performers, static display aircraft, and exhibitors is
an airshow can make it difficult to present and manage            an issue. Set a date for an open house as soon as possi-
the kind of demonstrations, exhibits, and static displays         ble, get commitments from aircraft participants, and
that focus on general aviation activities and community           then publicize the event so that yours is not overshad-
organizations and services. On the other hand, the                owed by a competing event.
absence of an airshow means lower attendance numbers                  Finally, summer is
at an open house. Some organizers believe, however,               vacation time for most
that it’s a more productive attendance because people             families with school-age
have a better opportunity to learn about and enjoy the            children. If your airport is
airport itself.                                                   in a region that families              T i p : In lieu of resched-
    A middle ground exists between staging a full-                take vacation from rather              uling in the event of bad
blown aerobatic airshow and having only static dis-               than at, you might want                weather—a dubious
plays. Many airports organize aircraft fly-bys in lieu of         to consider some other                 proposition given the dif-
aerobatic demonstrations. For example, the annual                 season in which to hold                ficulty of lining up
Scottsdale, Arizona, Air Fair features a full day of non-         an airport open house.                 exhibitors, vendors, static
aerobatic fly-bys ranging from high-speed passes by a                 In more southerly cli-             display participants, and
P-51 Mustang and slower (but no less exciting) tours of           mates, the fall and spring             performers—rain insur-
the pattern by a restored B-17, to a U.S. Air Force B-2           off-seasons are opportune              ance is available to
bomber fly-over. No FAA waivers are required because              times to have an airport               cover lost gate
the aircraft are not executing aerobatic maneuvers.               open house. The weather                receipts or
    The constant flying at Scottsdale calls for close coor-       is more tolerable than if              other
dination with the air traffic control tower, and coopera-         the event were held on a               income.
tion from airport FBOs catering to business aircraft              sweltering summer week-
operators who may be inconvenienced. The payoff is in             end, and the seasonal
attendance. Some 25,000 people typically come to the              tourist and winter resi-
airport to enjoy the two-day AirFair. Organizers are              dents have not yet arrived.
convinced the fly-bys are a big reason people come to             Also, the open house will
the event.                                                        compete with fewer area
    Another option may be a parachute jump. A para-               events.
chute jump may not require an FAA waiver if the land-
ing zone is in the middle of the airport, away from                 Who should sponsor the open house,
people. FSDO managers can provide guidance on this                and who will help plan and organize it?
question.                                                         The answers to these questions depend entirely on the
    Bottom line: Lots of factors go into the air-show-            circumstances. In many cases, the governing airport
or-no decision, and you owe it to planners, sponsors,             authority is the primary sponsor and organizer. For
and the community to research all of the factors that             example, at airports such as Van Nuys that have a rela-
apply in your specific situation.                                 tively large professional staff, the open house is planned
                                                                  and organized by the staff. Volunteers are eagerly
   Date? What time of year should you hold your air-              sought, but the overall management is in the hands of
port open house? Summer is an obvious choice because              paid, professional airport staff members. Typically, a
of warm ambient temperatures and the likelihood of                member of the staff functions as the hands-on chairper-
good weather. Also, kids are out of school and families

        son, even though the formal title may be bestowed on                  One day or two? The EAA chapter that
        a dignitary for political reasons.                                cosponsors and organizes the annual fall Aviation Days
            At smaller airports, the open house may be spon-              at Page Field in Ft. Myers, Florida, says that on the first
        sored, planned, and organized by a user group, pilot              day of the two-day airport open house, the chapter
        organization, or FBO.                                             earns back the cost of staging the event. On the second
            A successful open house at Page Field in Ft. Myers            day, it makes its profit, which goes toward supporting
        means a healthy EAA chapter budget for the coming
        year because the chapter sponsors the open house—and
        reaps all the proceeds. At Merrill C. Meigs Field on
        Lake Michigan at the foot of downtown Chicago, the
        annual open house is conducted by the nonprofit
                                       Friends of Meigs Field as
                                       a way to attract positive
                                       public attention to the air-
                                       port and its supporters.
T i p : One way to virtu-              The organization was
ally guarantee problems                founded in the heat of the
is to spring surprises on              city’s efforts to close the
people with authority,                 airport in favor of build-
such as the airport man-               ing a lakeshore park. A
ager or air traffic control            similar motivation is
tower manager. At one                  behind the Reid-Hillview
open house, organizers                 Airport Association’s
had not discussed having               organization of that air-
fly-bys with the tower.                port’s annual open house.
When the tower chief                       If the primary organiz-
learned at the last minute             er of the open house is an
that a fly-by involving                airport user group, club,          chapter activities. Consideration should be given to
several high-performance               or organization, it should         contributing a portion of your profits to local commu-
aircraft was being                     seek cosponsorship from            nity charities—doing so will provide added positive
planned, he reacted by                 the airport authority,             public relations to the event and the airport community.
prohibiting the crowd-                 owner, or other entity that            Once you’ve arranged for all of the people, equip-
pleasing fly-by—even                   sponsors the airport.              ment, services, and permits and approvals necessary to
though no aerobatic                    Having that official seal of       have a one-day open house, it’s a relatively small com-
maneuvers would be                     approval will pave the way         mitment to extend the event to two days. In addition
involved. Minimize the                 for cooperation from air-          to the kind of economic benefit enjoyed by the folks at
potential for problems by              port staff, and possible in-       Page Field, there is one other compelling reason to have
planning thoroughly for                kind assistance in the form        a two-day open house. Good broadcast and print media
every possible contin-                 of manpower supplies and           coverage of the first day of the open house will spur
gency and involving every              equipment, and perhaps             attendance on the second day. It gives people an oppor-
possible interest in the               even funding. Most air-            tunity to go to two different events during the weekend
planning.                              port managers and owners           instead of having to chose between the airport and a
                                       are advocates for the air-         boat show or community picnic, for example.
                                       port, and helping to spon-             The major problem associated with a weekend-long
                                       sor and organize an open           open house is securing solid commitments from volun-
                                       house for the community            teer workers and static display and fly-by participants to
        is an excellent way to show their support. Even if the            come back on Day Two. There’s a cost involved because
        airport has a small—or no—staff, the support of its               of equipment rental fees. Also, organizers typically pro-
        operator will be critical.                                        vide room, meals, and ground transportation to display
            Regardless of who is the primary sponsor, it’s                pilots and performers, if applicable. The bigger prob-
        imperative that all interested parties participate in the         lem, however, is the time commitment for those
        planning from the beginning. This includes the airport            involved.
        manager, the air traffic control tower manager (if appli-             As with most open-house planning variables, the
        cable), a representative from the municipality or county,         decision to go just one day or two depends on your
        and FBOs, among others. Solicit airport businesses,               particular circumstances. Just be sure to weigh all the
        flight schools, user groups, EAA chapters, and other              factors.
        interested parties also should be invited and encour-
        aged to participate in planning the open house.

     Initial Organization
     Initial Organization
         Once it’s been decided what kind of open house to                          T i p: When selecting top managers and
     have, what the objectives are, when to have it, and who                        committee heads, strive for continuity. People
     will sponsor and organize it, it’s time to begin the                           who have had experience with a previous open
     detailed planning process.                                                     house can help fast-forward the planning
         Establish a list of committees based upon essential                        process.
     tasks and responsibilities.
     Appoint a head of                                                              T i p : Put commitments and agreements in
     each committee, and
                                                                                    writing and distribute to all involved so there
     identify potential
                                                                                    is no misplaced blame, backing out, or dispute
     members. Set clear
                                                                                    if a disagreement arises later on.
     goals for each
     committee and each
     committee leader.                                                              T i p: Schedule a final briefing with staff the
     Involve organizations                                                          day before the open house begins, not the
     such as the Civil Air Patrol.                                                  morning of the event. There will be too much
     Members and cadets are great at                                                going on.
     directing vehicular traffic, helping to
     manage the crowds, and providing                                               T i p : Identify a core group of people who
     security on the ramp.                                                          can make decisions on their feet, and appoint
                                                                                    them as the Troubleshooting Team. Give each
                                                                                    a visible uniform such as a brightly colored
Major Committee Responsibilities                                                    shirt with logo, and deploy them around the
     Major Committee                                                                open-house area during the event. They are the
        What are the major tasks to focus on when planning                          people whom open-house workers should seek
                                                                                    out for help in quickly solving the inevitable
     an open house? Should you worry more about how
                                                                                    on-site problems. Equip each troubleshooter
     many portable toilets to rent than the number of ads to
                                                                                    with a cellular telephone. Walkie-talkies
     appear in the open-house program? Following is a sug-
                                                                                    operate on a common frequency, which can
     gested list of major responsibilities that could be used
                                                                                    become congested.
     to determine committee assignments.

        • Permitting and approvals from:
          — FAA (notams, waiver of airspace for airshow)
          — Airport authority
          — City or town
        • Exhibitors and vendors (including food permits)
        • Supplies and equipment
        • Signage
                                                                         How much will it cost to hold an airport open
        • Corporate sponsors                                         house, and what are the income sources? The answers
        • Static display                                             to these two basic budget questions are as varied as the
        • Fly-in aircraft (parking and transport of people to        events themselves. Harriet Alexander Field in Salida,
          and from display area)                                     Colorado, held a one-day airport open house on an
        • Flight ops (rides, fly-bys)                                expense budget of just $800. Admission was free,
        • Daily program                                              but the nonprofit organization that
                                                                     sponsored the open house earned
        • Event publication (format, editorial, advertising,
          printing, distribution)                                    income from dime-a-pound aircraft
                                                                     rides donated by local pilots.
        • Promotion
                                                                         That contrasts with the million-
        • Insurance                                                  dollars-plus budget required to conduct a
        • Car parking (buses to and from open house if parking       major two-day open house and airshow at a
          is remote)
                                                                     large metropolitan airport. In-between is an event the
        • Incidentals (water, sunscreen, shaded seating area         size of the Scottsdale Air Fair. The two-day open house
          for resting)
                                                                     features a range of civil, military, and warbird static dis-
        • Cleanup                                                    plays and fly-bys, attracts about 25,000 people, and
                                                                     operates on a budget of about $300,000.

            The actual out-of-pocket expenses for an open house
        will depend on the size and scope of the event and also                   Corporate Sponsorship
        on the extent of volunteer labor, donated equipment                Corporate Sponsorship
        and supplies, and in-kind contributions. The airport                   An extremely important component of budgeting
        management and FBOs can provide in-kind contribu-                  for a successful open house is securing cash and in-kind
        tions such as fuel for static display aircraft; line person-       corporate sponsors. Without such sponsorship, many
        nel for directing and parking aircraft; police, fire, and          open houses would end the weekend significantly in the
        rescue support; important crowd control equipment                  red, which jeopardizes the
        such as barricades and cones; and even portable toilets.           future of the show.
            Pilots and aircraft owners who are active in the area              An airport open house
        business community are a great source of in-kind con-              presents an opportunity
        tributions, ranging from tents to printing services for            for a sponsor to receive              T i p : Don’t make
                                        programs and flyers.               exposure before a large               assumptions about who
                                            Other in-kind contri-          group of people from the              might be willing to spon-
                                        butions include discounts          community. Different                  sor an airport open
                                        on overnight accommoda-            sponsors seek different               house. Be creative in
T i p : The adage “you                  tions, loaner vehicles (cars       benefits from that expo-              identifying opportunities.
have to spend money to                  and vans) to performers            sure, ranging from good-              For example, one open-
make money” applies to                  and owners of display air-         will in the community to              house organizer signed
airport open houses. It                 craft while they are in            a more direct benefit                 up an area utility compa-
may take cash deposits to               town; golf carts for event         including increased sales.            ny as a sponsor. The utili-
secure equipment, service,              staff; tents for exhibitors;       Before making a proposal              ty was facing potential
and display aircraft com-               public address equipment;          to a potential corporate              deregulation and needed
mitments, for example, so               and any other equipment            sponsor, try to determine             to generate goodwill
start the planning process              or services necessary for          what its sponsorship                  among its customers and,
with some working capi-                 staging the open house.            goals might be. It will               ultimately, support for its
tal in hand.                                Potential sources of           help sell your proposal.              position on deregulation.
                                        income include ticket                  For example, a nation-            Sponsorship “bought”
T i p : Structure your                  sales, parking fees, vendor        al soft drink manufacturer            the utility a large, captive,
                                        and exhibitor fees or              used to sponsoring hun-               and demographically
expenses and income so
                                        receipts, program sales            dreds of community gath-              qualified audience at the
that you don’t have to
                                        and advertisements, and            erings across the country             open house. The utility
rely on paid admission to
                                        merchandise sales (t-shirts        may not be persuaded to               got to polish its image
at least break even. That
                                        with the open-house logo           support your event based              and, through handouts
way, if inclement weather
                                        are popular items). In             on your optimistic projec-            and an exhibit, conduct a
depresses attendance, the
                                        many cases, income from            tions of how much prod-               low-key informational
show won’t automatically
                                        the open house is supple-          uct they will sell from soft          campaign on the deregu-
be a financial disaster.
                                        mented by funding from             drink stands at the open              lation issue.
                                        the airport owner (city or         house.
                                        county) and corporate                  Instead, the manufac-
                                        sponsors (more on corpo-           turer is looking for a
                                        rate sponsors later).              much bigger boost in
            When identifying sources of funding, don’t overlook            sales of its product at area grocery stores. To win over
        nontraditional opportunities. For example, the Plant               that sponsor, you could propose to promote advance
        City airport receives several thousand dollars from the            ticket sales at a reduced price, courtesy of the sponsor.
        Hillsborough County Airport Authority, which owns                  The tickets must be bought at area grocery stores. The
        and operates the airport, in support of the airport’s              promotion steers people to the stores, where they are
        Strawberry Air Fest. But the event also receives several           likely to buy the soft drink.
        thousand dollars in tourist tax money dispensed by the                 Sponsor visibility at the open house may be in the
        county’s tourism promotion department. The tourism                 form of banners, company names and logos on the offi-
        dollars cannot be spent on Air Fest general operating              cial program, advertisements in the program, mentions
        expenses but must be devoted to promotions that could              by the announcer throughout the event, invitations to a
        produce additional “bed nights,” or bookings at area               VIP party with display aircraft pilots and performers,
        motels, hotels, and resorts.                                       and a tent assigned to the sponsor and its guests.

           Put a trusted lieutenant in charge of sponsor rela-
        tions at the open house. That person should ensure the
        sponsor’s accommodations—tent, chairs, refreshments,
        and anything else called for in the sponsorship agree-
        ment—are ready at the start of the event and supported
        throughout. You want your sponsors to be happy and
        eager to participate next year.

        Static Display
        Static Display
            A static display of aircraft is the heart of an airport
        open house. Strive for a wide variety of display air-
        craft—hot air balloons; warbirds; ultralights; experi-
        mentals; antiques and classics; seaplanes and amphib-
        ians; a full range of certificated general aviation aircraft
                                         from primary trainers to,
                                         if your airport can accom-
                                         modate them, turboprops
                                         and business jets (encour-
T i p : When parking                     age flight training and
static display aircraft,                 maintenance school and
avoid segregating by type.               new-aircraft sales dis-
Alternate warbirds with                  plays). Invite aircraft that
experimentals, ultralights,              will highlight general avia-
and other dissimilar types               tion’s value to the com-
to ensure that the crowds                munity—medevac and law
will be exposed to the full              enforcement aircraft;
range of aircraft.                       cropdusters and firefight-
                                         ing aircraft (if applicable);
                                         and AirLifeLine or other
                                         volunteer airlift corps. If
                                         your event is being held at
                                         a large airport, don’t over-
        look the potential for big aircraft such as a FedEx
        Boeing 727; helicopters; and military aircraft. They                     Another resource is area aviation museums, many of
        may not all fit the definition of general aviation, but              which have restored, flying aircraft available for static
        they will appeal to your visitors.                                   display. Local EAA chapters can direct open-house
            The typical compensation for participating in an                 planners to interesting experimental aircraft in the area.
        open house static display is a full tank of fuel on depar-               Regional aviation publications are valuable resources
        ture. Military participants usually specify that they be             for prospecting for display aircraft. Six months in
        able to purchase fuel at their military contract rate.               advance of the event is not too soon to publish a notice
            If it’s a two-day event, visiting crews are provided             soliciting owners of interesting and unusual aircraft to
        with hotel rooms and meals, and, in some cases, vehi-                participate in your event.
        cles. Upon arrival, all static display participants should               Military aircraft are popular static display attrac-
        be given a welcome package containing show instruc-                  tions, but tight budgets have had an effect on the serv-
        tions and schedule, a map of the area, a thank-you gift,             ices’ flexibility to dispatch aircraft and crews to commu-
        and an invitation to the sponsor’s party.                            nity open houses. Contact the following to inquire
            A place to begin the search for warbird participants             about military aircraft participation at an open house.
        is the Confederate Air Force (CAF), headquartered in
        Midland, Texas (telephone 915/563-1000; Web site                        Army: With more than 80 CAF                     Office of the Chief of Public Affairs
        squadrons around the country, the headquarters staff                    United States Army
        can advise you where to find a specific type of warbird                 Attn: Community Relations Team
        or the nearest CAF unit.                                                1500 Army Pentagon
                                                                                Washington, DC 20310-1500
                                                                                Telephone 703/697-6159; fax 703/697-2159

           Navy:                                                            If there is no control tower on the field, a responsi-
           Navy Office of Information                                   ble and experienced person should be given “air boss”
           Attn: Aviation (OI-512)                                      authority to oversee aircraft movements.
           1200 Navy Pentagon                                               If a large volume of nonbased aircraft are expected
           Washington, DC 20350-1200                                    to fly to the open house, or if extensive fly-bys are
           Telephone 202/685-6666; fax 202/685-6669                     planned that will affect normal aircraft operations, have
                                                                        the airport manager file a notam with the controlling
           Marine Corps:                                                FAA flight service station, announcing the open house.
           CMC (PAC), HQ USMC
           Attn: Aviation Coordinator
           The Pentagon, Room 5E671                                            Temporary Tower
           Washington, DC 20050                                         Temporary Tower
           Telephone 703/614-1034 or 1054;                                  It’s possible to put a temporary ATC tower in oper-
           fax 703/614-2358                                             ation at a nontowered airport. There are no specific
                                                                        rules to determine when a temporary tower is justified.
           Air Force:                                                   Factors that might warrant consideration of a tempo-
           SAF/PAN                                                      rary control tower are expected heavy volume of
           Attn: Aviation Support                                       arrivals and departures, runway layout, configuration of
           1690 AF Pentagon                                             area airspace (for example, the existence of restricted or
           Washington, DC 20350-1690                                    prohibited areas that could
           Telephone 703/693-2558; fax 703/693-9601                     pose a problem for tran-
                                                                        sient traffic), and the effect
                                                                        of the open house on
                                                                        traffic and other airports
                                          Make sure the static
                                                                        in the area.
                                      display includes some
T i p : If owners of                  hands-on aircraft—avoid
                                                                            A request for a
interesting aircraft can’t                                              temporary tower and
                                      the appearance of a solid
agree to putting them on                                                controller staffing should
                                      line of cordoned-off air-
static display because of                                               be made to the control-
                                      craft. At Van Nuys, an
the time commitment or                                                  ling FAA regional office.
                                      area aviation maintenance
other factors, try to                                                   The request should not
                                      school donated a real, but
arrange for them to make                                                declare that a danger-
                                      nonflying, homebuilt air-
several fly-bys of the air-                                             ous situation could
                                      craft modified to be “kid
port without landing.                                                   arise without a control
                                      friendly.” Major parts on
This is commonly done                                                   tower. Rather, it
                                      the aircraft, dubbed
with high-performance                                                   should emphasize that
                                      “Vinnie,” are labeled and
military aircraft.                                                      a temporary tower
                                      their functions explained,
                                                                        would be in the best
                                      and kids are encouraged
                                                                        interest of safety,
                                      to touch the airplane and
                                                                        expedite the flow of
                                      climb into the cockpit.
                                                                        aircraft to and from the airport, and minimize
           Each display aircraft should be staffed throughout
                                                                        delays to surrounding traffic in affected airspace.
        the day to answer questions and provide security. Ask
                                                                            If the request is approved, the FAA may ask for
        participants to bring informational signs or provide text
                                                                        reimbursement for the cost of setting up the tower
        that can be used to make signs.
                                                                        and related equipment and for expenses of sending
                                                                        controllers to the event. (The controllers themselves
       Flight Operations                                                do not receive additional compensation.) Lobby for
       Flight Operations                                                controllers who are experienced at working high-
                                                                        density general aviation traffic.
           If the airport has an air traffic control tower, the             The temporary tower facility could be an existing
       tower chief will be responsible for the safety of all            building on the airport, a mobile tower cab (each FAA
       aircraft operations, including arrivals, departures, and         region has at least one), or even a flatbed truck. The
       ground movements. This calls for extensive preshow               military also may agree to provide a mobile cab.
       planning and coordination during the event between                   It’s important to get started on a temporary tower
       the tower, airport authorities, and open-house                   effort early. The mobile cabs are in short supply and
       managers.                                                        must be scheduled many months in advance. Also, it’s
                                                                        vital that open-house organizers meet with controllers

        on site well in advance so that procedures can be
        worked out.                                                                Insurance
                                                                                Typically, the open-house sponsor is required by the
        Concessions and Vendors                                             airport owner to have liability insurance for the open
        Concessions and Vendors                                             house, with the airport owner named on the policy as
                                                                            an additional insured. Commercial vendors working the
             Food and drink concessions are necessary and desir-
                                                                            open house also should
        able at an open house. Good quality and sanitary con-
                                                                            provide evidence of liabili-
        ditions are the basic requirements. An excellent way to
                                                                            ty insurance.
                                         win support in the com-
                                         munity is to invite area
                                                                                Like most other con-             T i p : If you plan on
                                                                            siderations, the amount of           providing vehicles to fly-
                                         nonprofit organizations,
                                                                            liability insurance cover-           in pilots or golf carts on
                                         such as the Rotary Club,
T i p : Check with                       Lions Club, church
                                                                            age you’ll need depends              the ramp during the
organizers of other area                 groups, or Boy Scouts or
                                                                            on the size and scope of             event, you should con-
events that draw a simi-                 Girl Scouts, to set up con-
                                                                            the open house and the               firm that vehicle liability
lar-size crowd on how                    cession stands at the open
                                                                            specific requirements                insurance is included in
much they charge. They                   house. One caveat, how-
                                                                            imposed by the airport               your policy. If not,
also should be able to                   ever: Insist on experience.
                                                                            owner. The good news is              arrange for it.
identify the most desir-                 Don’t risk your event on
                                                                            that event liability insur-
able vendors in terms of                                                    ance premiums are rela-
quality, performance, and
                                         first-time nonprofit food
                                                                            tively inexpensive.                  T i p : If you plan to set
                                         concessionaires.                                                        up for the open house a
reliability.                                 Local regulations may
                                                                                Typical limits range
                                                                            from $500,000 to about               day in advance and clean
                                         require that all vendors                                                up the day after it ends,
                                                                            $2 million, with $1 mil-
                                         have an appropriate per-                                                you’ll need to extend
                                                                            lion a common amount. A
                                         mit or license (one-day                                                 your premises liability
                                                                            local EAA chapter that
        or event permits may be available) and that food                                                         insurance to cover those
                                                                            sponsors an airport open
        vendors show evidence of having completed food                                                           days. The added coverage
                                                                            house can obtain liability
        safety training.                                                                                         imposes only a small per-
                                                                            insurance through the
             Local custom will dictate whether a nonprofit con-                                                  centage increase in the
                                                                            national EAA. Event
        cessionaire should pay open-house organizers a flat fee,                                                 premium.
                                                                            insurers are listed on the
        a percentage of gross or net revenue, or nothing at all
                                                                            ICAS Web site.
        for the opportunity to work the event. Commercial
        concessionaires and exhibitors, on the other hand,
        expect to pay to set up shop at an airport open house.
             The simplest way to charge a vendor or commercial
        exhibitor is a flat fee. At one open house, each food                      Aircraft Rides
        vendor and exhibitor pays a $100 fee for the two days.              Aircraft Rides
        Another open house charges just $20 if the vendor                       Getting up in the air is what airports are all about,
        does not require electrical power and $30 with power.               and for many nonpilots a ride in an airplane or helicop-
             At Reid-Hillview Airport’s annual open house, the              ter is the ultimate lure that attracts them to an airport
        airport association hosts a pancake breakfast—but it’s              open house.
        not limited to pilots flying in. Anyone can come, and                   Commercial helicopter and biplane sightseeing oper-
        members of the local community come out early to                    ators are popular attractions at open houses.
        meet local pilots and learn more about the airport.                 Coordinate with the air traffic control tower (if applica-
             In Watsonville, California, an annual fly-in achieves          ble) on where to stage the aircraft for passenger loading
        some of the same community support benefits as an                   and unloading and designating a flight path.
        open house—the local Lions Club, Rotary Club,                           Penny-a-pound (nickel- or dime-a-pound in today’s
        Chamber of Commerce, and other community service                    dollars) airplane rides are a cherished tradition and still
                             groups handle the food concessions.            a centerpiece of the small-town airport open house.
                                 Vendors are interested in the size         Generally it’s easy to find local pilots willing to donate
                             of the crowd, of course. Don’t over-           their time and aircraft to conduct the flights.
                             promise before the event or you’ll                 Typically, pilot volunteers are provided with fuel, or
                             quickly gain that reputation among             at least given a discount on the price. However, at press
                             area vendors. Also, don’t overload the         time, a thorny legal issue involving this kind of charity
                             open house with too many vendors               flying still had not been resolved.
                             and exhibitors, or no one will be                  An FAA policy statement issued in 1999 requires
                             successful.                                    pilots to enroll in an FAA-approved random drug test-
                                                                            ing program prior to engaging in charitable passenger-

        carrying flight operations, such as might be conducted               • Public safety demon-
        at an airport open house. Unfortunately, to meet the                   strations (fire, police,
        FAA’s drug testing requirements, a pilot will have to                  and rescue)
        spend in excess of $200 and considerable paperwork to                   • Live music
        engage in an FAA-approved drug-testing program.
            On March 30, 1999, AOPA President Phil Boyer                        • A “kids zone” with clowns,
        sent a letter to FAA Administrator Jane Garvey urging                     face painting, hands-on
                                         the FAA to reconsider the                activities, rides, and amusements
                                         new policy and once again              • Motorcycle and car shows (antiques, classics, hot
                                         permit pilots to engage in               rods, customs, etc.)
T i p : The only safe way                charitable sightseeing                 • Post office first-edition aviation stamp
to avert potential prob-                 flight operations without                cancellations
lems involving the drug                  enrolling in an FAA-
                                         approved random drug                   • Tethered hot air balloon rides
testing issue is to scrupu-
lously avoid providing                   testing program.                       • Radio-controlled model demonstrations
any sort of compensation,                    As of early June 1999,
                                                                                • Historical exhibits
including fuel discounts                 the FAA has issued
and donations, to pilots                 approximately 20 exemp-                • A pavilion with civic, military service, and
who fly “paying” passen-                 tions for charity and                    business exhibits
gers at an open house. If                “community event” sight-
passengers do not pay for                seeing flights.
the flight in any manner,                    FAA responded with                     Promotion and Media Coverage
and the pilots receive no                an amended exemption                Promotion and Media Coverage
in-kind compensation,                    process that grants the                 A meticulously planned and organized airport open
the drug-testing require-                “Aircraft Owners and                house is doomed to failure if too few people know
ment does not apply.                     Pilots Association, on              about it. Effective promotion is a key to success.
That is the case with                    behalf of its members,” an              Consider inviting a small number of local media
Young Eagles flights,                    exemption from specific             representatives out to the airport well in advance of
which are free to kids                   FARs “to the extent nec-            your event—maybe one reporter each from the local
taking their first general               essary to allow AOPA                newspaper, radio station, and the television station that
aviation airplane ride.                  member-pilots to conduct            covers your area (if you have a lot of local media, con-
                                         local sightseeing flights at        sider several small groups). Show off the airport,
                                         charity or community                explain its value to the community, and cap off the
                                         events, for compensation            experience by offering a free orientation flight. AOPA’s
                                         or hire, without comply-            Fly A Reporter brochure offers some great suggestions
        ing with certain anti-drug and alcohol misuse preven-                for doing this. Your early efforts to develop a relation-
        tion requirements of Part 135,” subject to certain limi-             ship with the media will help when it comes time to
        tations. There are 10 limitations including a require-               publicize your open house event, and could even result
        ment that charity flights be conducted in day VFR                    in some positive coverage for general aviation.
        within 25 miles of the airport, pilots must have at least
        a Private pilot certificate, be familiar with regulations
        concerning drug-free operations, and make a logbook
        entry for each event in which the pilot participates.
            For complete details, call AOPA’s Pilot Hotline at
        800-USA-AOPA or login to

        Other Activities
        Other Activities
            Not every activity or exhibit at the open house has
        to be directly related to aviation. People come to an
        open house expecting an enjoyable family day out of
        doors. Kids, especially, have boundless energy, restless
        curiosity, and short attention spans. Finally, an open
        house should celebrate the community. Give visitors an
        interesting and informative variety of things to see and
        do. Following are some suggestions that have proven
        popular at airport open houses:

                                                                       by a corporate sponsor) around the community. The
                                                                       flyer also is inserted in the daily newspaper just prior to
                                                                       the open house. Organizers also secure permission from
T i p : One area where                                                 municipal authorities to erect Air Fair promotional ban-
an in-kind contribution                                                ners across major streets in area cities. Finally, two
can be especially effective                                            weeks in advance of the open house weekend, they pro-
is in promotion. Solicit                                               vide 25 local movie theaters with a promotional slide—
area media—broadcast                                                   picturing an upside-down wing-walker—to display on
and print—for in-kind                                                  screen prior to the start of a movie.
contributions by offer-                                                    Along with advertising and promotion, seek prior
ing to trade sponsorship                                               editorial coverage of the event. Press releases are a sta-
recognition at the open house for                                      ple of media prospecting, and AOPA offers excellent
advertising and promotional space. One open-                           guidance on how to write effective press releases.
house organizer offers to pay for promotional                              To increase the chances of getting prior editorial
space or air time at a reduced rate in exchange                        coverage, produce a series of press releases over a peri-
for a presence at the event. It’s hard for any                         od of time, each focusing on a different aspect of the
business to turn down cash, so it’s a successful                       open house. Meigs Field Open House organizers came
tactic. For every $500 in cash he spends with                          up with a story angle by having a Chicago city council-
local media, he receives $2,000 worth of print                         man spearhead the passage of a proclamation naming
or broadcast advertisements.                                           the day of the Open House as “Meigs Field Day.”
                                                                           Torrance Air Fair organizers hold a media day 10
                                                                       days in advance of the open house to give local media
T i p : Early in the morning on the first day                          outlets plenty of time to research and produce stories.
of the open house, call the daily newspaper                            Another media day is held the day before the Air Fair
and television station(s), and ask to speak to                         opens. Typically, this features military aircraft and crews
the assignment editor. Brief the editor on the                         that will participate in the static display and fly-bys.
open house, stress the photo opportunities,                                Invite television and radio stations to do live broad-
and offer assistance in facilitating a story.                          casts from the airport during the event. Don’t ignore
Weekends are slow news days, and assignment                            the importance of post-show editorial coverage, espe-
editors, who should recognize the attraction                           cially on Sunday-night television news and in Monday-
and visual impact of local aviation-related sto-                       morning newspapers. These are heavy viewer/reader
ries, likely will welcome your call.                                   opportunities that can help make an impression of the
                                                                       event in the minds of the public, resulting in better
T i p : Many television stations air an extend-                        attendance next year.
ed sports show Sunday evening to report the
results of weekend games. This opens up time
in the regular news segment—and an opportu-                                   Measuring Success
nity to fill that time with great airport open-                        Measuring Success
house images. Keep this in mind when talking                               The last visitor has left the airport grounds. Tired
to stations about coverage.                                            volunteers are helping to pick up trash and collect
                                                                       equipment. A few stragglers from the static display line
                                                                       are preparing to depart. All that’s left is to finish clean-
                                                                       ing up and get over to the staff party in one of the cor-
                                                                       porate hangars. It’s time to ask the Big Question: Was
                                                                       it a successful event?
         At least four months in advance of the open house,
                                                                           Just how do you measure the success, or lack of it,
     send notices of the event to regional and national avia-
                                                                       of an airport open house? Attendance is an obvious
     tion publications for inclusion in their calendar sec-
                                                                       yardstick. A crowd numbering in the tens of thousands
     tions. Send flyers to all general aviation airports in the
                                                                       has to be considered a success under any circumstances.
     region, inviting pilots to attend the open house.
                                                                       Sheer numbers don’t tell the whole story, however. The
         As your date approaches, use all mass media out-
                                                                       “quality” of the audience is important. If you have
     lets—major and community newspapers, regional mag-
                                                                       good representation from influential people in the com-
     azines, and area television and radio stations—to secure
                                                                       munity—elected officials, administrators, business and
     public service announcements promoting the open
                                                                       civic leaders—and they voice satisfaction with the open
                                                                       house, that’s an excellent measure of success. If
         In addition to having paid and in-kind media adver-
                                                                       exhibitors are happy with the results, that’s also a good
     tisements promoting the event, Torrance Air Fair
                                                                       measure of success.
     organizers distribute posters and 2,000 flyers (provided

    Financial results are important in determining the
success of the event. At Torrance, Air Fair organizers
want to finish the Air Fair having earned “seed money”
to facilitate planning the next year’s Air Fair. At Ft.
Myers, Florida, the sponsoring EAA chapter has a
financial goal for Aviation Days of maintaining a bank
account reserve that would absorb losses the following
year if the event were drowned out by a November
    Losing money at the open house is a problem that
calls for a thorough review of the process before plan-
ning begins for next year’s show. “Profit” is in the eye
of the beholder, however. A show that increases good-
will for the airport within the community is fundamen-
tally successful. The goal should be to build on that
aspect and work on turning around the financial per-
    This guide includes a comprehensive, generic event
planning checklist (see page 17). It includes airshow,
military, and warbird activities, but the list can be cus-
tomized for your specific situation and agenda.

Considering an Airshow?
So You’re Considering an
    As we mentioned earlier, adding an airshow to your
airport open house can help to attract a much bigger
crowd—but the complexity of planning the event, and
the cost of staging it, will rise exponentially.                  The International Council of Air Shows (ICAS), which
    Safety considerations are paramount in deciding               represents the airshow industry, states that except for
whether or not to have an airshow, but don’t let loca-            professional baseball, airshows draw more spectators in
tion drive the safety issue. The Maryland National                this country than any other attraction. That’s an
Capital Park and Planning Commission, which operates              impressive record that attests to the public’s unflagging
College Park Airport, has been staging a public Aero              enthusiasm for flying machines. Because of the obvious
Fair with airshow every fall under some challenging               safety issues involved as well as the costs and the
conditions. College Park Airport is located in highly             crowds, staging an airshow in conjunction with an air-
developed suburban Washington, D.C., right next to                port open house adds many layers of complexity and
the University of Maryland’s main campus.                         challenges to the planning process.
    To say that space at College Park for an airshow is               For example, aerobatic performances trigger the
limited would be an understatement—the single run-                involvement of the FAA in approving and planning the
way is but 2,610 feet long and bounded by trees on                event. Contact your local FAA flight standards district
one end and a Washington Metro subway station on                  office (FSDO) at least 60 days in advance of the open
the other. As the College Park experience demonstrates,           house to discuss airshow issues, but preferably at the
just because an airport is small and/or located in a              beginning of the planning process. Formal application
developed area doesn’t mean a safe and successful                 for a waiver of airspace must be made at least 45 days
airshow and open house can’t be held. Airshow safety              in advance of the event. (See sidebar.) Managing the
is more an issue of planning and organization than                airshow site calls for an “air boss,” an experienced and
location.                                                         knowledgeable organizer and manager who controls all
    The question of whether or not to have an airshow             aircraft movements on the ground and in the air during
at an airport open house should be decided on eco-                an airshow.
nomic and philosophical grounds. Because of the cost,
which can range from $10,000 for a modest one-day
show to $250,000 or more for two days featuring                          Airshow Advisory Circular
national, professional performers, corporate sponsor-             Airshow Advisory Circular
ship of an airshow is an absolute must. Even then,                   An airport open house with an airshow involving
organizers could end the weekend having lost money.               aerobatic maneuvers requires the involvement of the
    There is no question that airshows draw crowds.               Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Advisory

Circular 91-45C, “Waivers—Aviation Events” provides              immediately adjacent to an airport. An increasing num-
guidance on what types of events and shows require               ber, however, are held offshore (within gliding distance
FAA approval and involvement. In general, if the show            of land), over water, in the vicinity of a state fair-
includes aerobatic acts, airshow organizers must apply           ground, or at other off airport locations. Aerobatic
for a waiver from standard Federal Aviation                      school activities or aerobatic meets may occur which
Regulations operating rules regarding altitudes, air-            are not aviation events, contests, or races, even though
speeds, and airspace. The AC provides guidance on                a waiver must be issued. At these school activities or
completing FAA Form 7711-2, “Application for Waiver              meets that are not advertised as aviation events, it may
or Authorization.”                                               not be necessary to provide public aviation event polic-
    Following is a brief excerpt from the introducto-            ing and emergency facilities.
ry section of AC 91-45C.                                             c. Certificate of Waiver or Authorization. FAA Form
                                                                 7711-1, Certificate of Waiver or Authorization, is
Background                                                       issued after proper application and approval, for the
    Numerous waivers are issued each year by the                 purpose of providing TEMPORARY RELIEF from
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the purpose            certain designated Federal Aviation Regulations.
of aviation events or aerial demonstrations. These
waivers are issued based on the FAA policy that any-
time the agency determines a proposed event will be in               One way to stack the odds in favor of having a suc-
the public interest in terms of safety and environmental         cessful airshow is to hire a consultant and/or event
concerns, a waiver will be issued predicated on specific         organizer to direct the planning. These professionals
requirements of the event. Regardless of the purposes            have the knowledge, experience, and contacts in the
for which an aviation event is sponsored, events or              industry and can make life immeasurably simpler for
show sites judged unsafe shall not be accepted for waiv-         airport open-house planners. Compensation for air-
er or authorization consideration. Based on the forego-          show producers is handled in various ways, ranging
ing, this AC is intended to explain many of the require-         from a flat fee to a percentage of net income.
ments necessary when considering the show site, facili-              Whether it’s to identify a consultant or organizer,
ties, the level of competence of participants, waivers           get information about performers, or just ask some
and/or authorizations required, and other items of con-          basic questions about staging an airshow, your first
cern to the prospective aviation event sponsor.                  point of contact should be ICAS, which is headquar-
                                                                 tered at 751 Miller Dr. SE, Suite F-4, Leesburg,
Definitions.                                                     Virginia 20175; telephone 703/779-8510; fax
    Many terms used in this AC are unique to aerial              703/779-8511; or e-mail “”. ICAS
demonstration/aviation events; therefore, the following          also has an informative Web site (
definitions shall enhance the understanding of their             that lists members, event producers and consultants,
application:                                                     and providers of airshow and event support services.
    a. Aerobatic Flight. The FAA has determined that
for purposes of an aviation event, an aerobatic maneu-
ver means an intentional maneuver in which the aircraft
is in sustained inverted flight or is rolled from upright
to inverted or from inverted to upright position. All
standard aviation event aerobatic maneuvers such as
slow rolls, snap rolls, loops, Immelmanns, Cuban
eights, spins, hammerhead turns, etc., may not be per-
formed over congested areas or over spectators. Steep
banked, level, climbing, or descending turns necessary
during maneuvering between aerobatics are not consid-
ered to be aviation event aerobatic maneuvers. Normal
positioning turns for high performance aircraft operat-
ed by the military regardless of angle or bank or pitch
attitude, are not considered to be aviation event aero-
batic maneuvers.
    Normal maneuvers, such as steep turns, involved in
air racing are not considered aerobatic.
    b. Aviation Events include airshows, air races, aero-
batic contests, parachute demonstration jumps, practice
areas designated for aerobatic proficiency or training,
and balloon meets and races. Most events are held at or                                           FAR/AIM courtesy of Jeppesen Sanderson, Inc.

                                                                                                                                 Sample Letters

                   [VIP gues
                  [VIP’s ti
                                 t’s name]                                                                                       A
                              tle, if appr
                  [VIP’s ad                  opriate]
                 [City, stat
                              e, zip co
                Dear [Cou
                               rtesy title,
                                              VIP’s last
                On [event
                              date], [spo
               name]. B                      nsoring or
                           ecause of                      ganization
              the airpor                your inte                     ] will be
                           t, we wou                rest in [c                   holding
                                         ld like to            ontinued                      an open
                                                     invited yo            support                      house at
                                                                 u to atte            of, signif                    [airport
             The even                                                       nd the ev            icant cont
                         t begins                                                       ent as ou             ributions
             businesses              at [time]                                                      r special             to]
                           and facilit            and cont                                                     guest.
            including                   ies; a disp         inues un
                         training                    lay of the       til [time]
                                     aircraft, bu                                 . It will in
                                                                 various ty
            vintage ai
                        rplanes.                   siness airc               pes of airc clude tours of th
           fee. In ad               Local civi                 raft, helic                 raft that                 e airport
                       dition, ar                c organiza                opters, m                  use [airpo
           and a ch                 ea civic an              tions will                edivac ai                   rt name]
                     ildren’s ar                  d service              serve brea               rcraft, an                 ,
                                  ea will fe                 or                       kfast and               d restored
                      rides will               ature clow ganizations will pr                      lunch for
                                                                                                               a nominal
          ate].                    be availa               ns, face pa                 ovide info
                                               ble for a                inting, an                  rmationa
                                                          nominal                   d helium                    l displays
                                                                     contribu                   -filled ba                 ,
                                                                               tion [to                    lloons.
         As our sp                                                                        charity na
                    ecial gues                                                                         me, if ap
        of the airp              t, we wou                                                                         propri-
                     ort, and                  ld like to
        soft drin                access to                 offer you
                  ks.                         our VIP                  preferred
                                                         lounge, w                 parking,
                                                                     hich will                 a person
                                                                                be stocke                 al guided
       We hope                                                                               d with sn                 tour
                  that you                                                                               acks and
      question                will be ab                                                                             cold
                s, please                   le to join
      [name],               don’t hesi                  us. If you
                at [telepho               tate to ca                have any
                              ne numbe               ll our VIP
                                            r].                   coordina
     Sincerely,                                                              tor,

    [Title or
              position]                                                                                                                                                                      B

                                                                                                     [Potential sponsor’s name]
                                                                                                     [Potential sponsor’s title]
                                                                                                     [Potential sponsor’s address]
                                                                                                     [City, state, zip code]

                                                                                                     Dear [Courtesy title, potential sponsor’s last name],

                                                                                                     [Sponsoring organization] will be holding an open house at [airport name] on [event
                                                                                                     date]. Because of your company’s strong commitment to serving our community [reliance
                                                                                                     upon the airport, continued support of the airport], we would like to discuss with you
                                                                                                     some sponsorship opportunities regarding the event.

                                                                                                     Your financial support [use of vehicles, equipment, or services; promotional support;
                                                                                                     donation of food or soft drinks] will help us to conduct a high-quality, comprehensive
                                                                                                     event and provide an important service to the community. Of course, we would be
                                                                                                     pleased to discuss any other ways in which you might like to participate. In recognition
                                                                                                     of your support, [company name] will be mentioned prominently in our advertising and
                                                                                                     in the open house program, and we will extend VIP privileges to you and [insert num-
                                                                                                     ber; may want to modify based on the amount of support] other [company name]

                                                                                                     The event will include tours of the airport businesses and facilities, as well as a display of
                                                                                                     the various types of aircraft that use [airport name]. Local civic organizations will provide
                                                                                                     food for a nominal fee. Thee will also be informational displays, a children’s activity area,
                                                                                                     and airplane rides

Examples:                                                                                            We hope that we can count on your support. I will call you soon to discuss this subject,
                                                                                                     but if you have any questions, please call me at [telephone number].
A - VIP Invitation Letter
B - Sponsor Recruitment Letter
                                                                                                     [Title or position]

         [VIP or
                               s name]
         [VIP or
        [VIP or                s title, if
                  sponsor’                 appropri
        [City, stat           s address]            ate]
                   e, zip co
       Dear [Cou
                    rtesy title,
                                  VIP or sp
                                               onsor’s la
      Our rece                                            st name]
                nt open                                             ,
      due in pa             house at
                rt to your              [airport
     thank yo                 participat         name] w
               u for atte                  ion. On          as a trem
                            nding [o                behalf of          endous su
                                       r, for your              [sponsor         ccess, an
                                                                          ing organi       d the resu
                                                   generous                                           lt was
    We look
   your part
                          to anothe
                                                                                              I would
                                                                                                         like to
              icipation               r open ho
                                                  use in th
   of [airpo
             rt name]
                           at that ti
                                      me. In th
                                                 e meantim
                                                             e future,
                                                                       and hope                                                              C - Thank You Letter
                        .                                                        that we ca
  Thank yo
                                                              e, we appr
                                                                         eciate yo
                                                                                   ur contin
                                                                                             n count
                                                                                                       on                                    D - Sample Press Release
            u again fo                                                                       ued supp
                          r your ro                                                                     ort
                                      le in our
 Sincerely,                                      successful

[Title or

                                                                                      News release
                                                                                      April 30, 2001

                                                                                      Contact:      Michael Corrigan

                                                                                      Carson County Pilots Association to Hold Open House for Public at County
                                                                                      Municipal Airport on May 15

                                                                                      FREDERICK, MD – County Municipal Airport will welcome the public to an open
                                                                                      house, sponsored by the Carson County Pilots Association, on Saturday, May 15. A wide
                                                                                      variety of aircraft will be on display, and visitors will have an opportunity to see them up
                                                                                      close and learn about them from the pilots who fly them and the specialists who maintain
                                                                                      them. The event is free and open to all.

                                                                                      "We hope the public will come and share the adventure of flying with us," said Mike
                                                                                      Corrigan, president of the Carson County Pilots Association. "This is a chance to view
                                                                                      the world of pilots who fly for business or family transportation, personal challenge, career
                                                                                      development or just plain fun. The open house will be an exciting opportunity for every-
                                                                                      one, especially for young people and older ones who have occasionally thought about
                                                                                      learning to fly."

                                                                                      As County Municipal Airport Manager Phil Hangars points out, "It’s not always under-
                                                                                      stood that the airport is an integral part of the community. Besides the jobs and income
                                                                                      it provides directly, the airport is instrumental in creating community income by businesses
                                                                                      and industries that use general aviation (i.e., non-airline) transportation to facilitate their

                                                                                      "The airport open house will provide a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the air-
                                                                                      port’s role in the community, as well as experiencing the excitement of aviation first hand."

                                                                                      [Add other details of open house, i.e. introductory flight lessons offered, sight-seeing
                                                                                      flights available, food and beverage service, etc.]

                                                                                      For more information, contact Mike Corrigan at 301-555-1234.

                                                                      Ensure you got what you requested: altitudes,
Event Planning Checklist/Outline
                                                                   wing-walkers (no seatbelts), parachutists, jet team,
                                                                   DoD, waiver, acro maneuvers. Forward a copy to
         The checklist was provided by Centerpoint, an             your performers.
     airshow management company based in Longwood,
     Florida. It is a compilation of 21 years of experience
     gathered by Robert B. Sheffield as he has organized           III. MOA (Military Operations Area)
     and conducted airport open houses and airshows.
                                                                      Secured for press day

                                                                   IV CONTRACTS REVIEWED
           The Emergency Plan

        Emergency accident/incident plan
                                                                      Concessions and novelties
           • Ensure it’s in compliance with the Airport
                                                                      Independent contracted laborers
             Emergency Plan
        Military aircraft accident
                                                                   V INDEPENDENT SAFETY OBSERVER:
           • Who’s in charge?
        Civilian aircraft accident
                                                                      Monitors the airshow and recognizes
        Identify critical times
                                                                      potential dangerous or unsafe conditions.
        Identity possible incidents
           • Where accidents might occur
                                                                   VI. PERFORMER PACKETS
           • What kind of situation
           • Automobile accidents (on the way in/out)
           • Spectator/auto accident
                                                                      Show schedule
           • Heat injuries
                                                                      Important phone numbers
           • Aircraft on-site
                                                                      Accommodation arrangements
           • Aircraft off-site
                                                                      Transportation plan
        Termination of alert
                                                                      Shuttle schedule/routes
           • Whether the show must go on or be stopped
                                                                      Party passes
        Emergency communications plan
                                                                      Local entertainment (conventioneer booklets)
        Identify medical resources
                                                                      Scheduled performer briefings
           • City, county, state agencies, law enforcement
                                                                      Emergency contact form
             agencies, emergency medical team(s), fire
             rescue team, hospital emergency plan,
                                                                   VII. STATIC DISPLAY AIRCRAFT
             life-flight helicopter

                                                                      Personnel sign-in sheet with phone numbers
                                                                      (in case of emergency)
     FAA Form 7711-2:
                                                                      Static display aircraft list to the FBO
                                                                      Weight of aircraft (does not exceed weight capacity
        Secure and coordinate with the local FSDO 120
                                                                      of the static display ramp)
     to 90 days prior to the first event date. In accor-
                                                                      Arrival plan
     dance with AC 91-45C, Chapter 2, Section 1, para-
                                                                      Departure plan
     graph 18c, an application for an aviation event
                                                                      Aircraft movement plan
     must be submitted at least 45 days before the date
                                                                      Flight plan on departure
     of the scheduled event.
                                                                      Parking plan

 Barriers/stanchions                                      Office helpers
 Chocks                                                   Map of the area
 Refueling                                                Establish:
 POL                                                         • Crowd line, barrels, fencing, rope
 Signage (information & no smoking)                          • Security
 Stairs (up and down)                                        • Aerobatics box
 Tiedown availability                                        • An outlined spectator area drawn on a map
                                                             • Position and location of fire extinguishers
VIII. TRANSPORTATION:                                          and type
                                                             • VIP area
 Military team requirements                                  • Special needs area
   • Maps in vehicles, fill gas tanks, special               • Parking area
      refueling procedures                                   • First aid area
 Performer requirements                                      • Emergency medical equipment
 Bus schedule for static display aircraft                 Airport tenants (How does this show infringe
 Spectator transportation from parking area               on the airport tenants?)
                                                       They will need access to:
IX. QUARTERS/ACCOMMODATIONS:                                 • Work area
                                                             • Parking area
 Hotel Assignments                                        Airshow insurance
   • Civilian performers, military team, static              • Airshow liability
      display, dignitaries                                   • Accident (volunteers)
 Smoking/nonsmoking rooms                                    • Property theft/damage
 Single or double requirements                               • Workers compensation
                                                             • Liquor liability
X. AIRSHOW SITE:                                             • Fireworks
                                                             • Pyrotechnics/Explosives
 Safety briefing room                                        • General liability
 Designate and inform participants on arrival                • Weather insurance
 Equipment                                                   • Passenger liability
   • Chairs, tables, charts                                  • Product liability
   • Maps, paper, and pens available                         • Vehicle liability
   • Weather information, FAA available                      • Vehicle collision
   • Map of site; brief the announcer                     Fire marshal permits
   • Public safety announcements                          Concession company
   • Sponsor announcements                                   • Health permits
   • Military teams brief/debriefing room                    • Resupply area
 Required information in accordance with                     • Communications
 AC 91-45C, Chapter 2, para. 25-27                        Novelty company
 Operations office/emergency command center                  • Program sales staff
 Phone lines                                                 • Resupply area
 Fax machine                                              Port-O-Lets
 Computer                                                    • On site and servicing scheduled
 Typewriter                                                  • Spectator facilities, handicapped facilities,
 Copy machine                                                  commercial displays, parking area, VIP

       facilities, air boss, portable tower, military team         FOD (foreign object damage), determine clean-up
       requirements                                                Fire extinguisher/fire bottles
  Public address system                                            Aerial photographs
     • Power (generator), amplifier, speaker and                   Keys to gates and hangers
       speaker stands, microphones, wireless                       Airport signage
     • microphone                                                  Perimeter secure
  Trash collection points                                          Taxiways and runways swept
     • Scheduled clean-up after each show, dumpsters               Aerobatics box sterile
       required, trash barrels on site, trash bags (it             Jet team flight line in place
       maybe easier to pull a full bag out of the trash            Crowd line secure
       barrel, tie off to close and replace a trash bag in         Grass mowed in parking area/pyro area
       the barrel.)                                                 be cautious of warm mufflers on the dead grass.)
  Volunteer check-in point                                         Hangar space requirements
     • Lost-and-found booth                                           • Civilian performer requirements, military team
     • Map of the area, holding area for lost children,                  requirements, commercial display requirements
       coloring books, stuffed animals, identification             Hanger servicing
       method, log-in sheet/who recovered the child?                  • Floors swept, bird droppings removed,
  Public telephones                                                      electrical requirements, servicing hangar
  Commercial booth space/exhibits, sign-in area,                         restrooms, fire extinguishers
  military recruiters, chairs and tables, will fuel                Establish “fly-in” policy
  in the building be a problem (remote-control                        • Fly-in parking area, ticketing procedures
  airplanes)?                                                            and method
  Media booth                                                      Hazmat team available
     • Staffed, materials available, map of the area,                 • Determine spills, clean-up/plan and
       credentials available, show schedule available                    procedures, reporting procedures, waste
  Static displays                                                        management procedures
     • Roped off (if there is a requirement)                       Fire and rescue team
     • Fuel spills, signage, stairs (up and down)                     • Aircraft rescue and firefighter, briefed of
  First aid room                                                         air-show schedule, types of different aircraft
     • Cots, water, EMS team properly staffed,                           involved, map of area in ready room.
  Tents                                                           XII. FIXED BASED OPERATOR (FBO)
     • Information booth, lost-and-found booth,
       lost-child booth, water trailers, ticketing area,           Ground support equipment
       corporate sponsors, performer autograph area,               Ramp crew (qualifications)
       medical/first-aid parking area                              FBO re-fuel plan
  Airshow signage                                                     • Who pays, method of payment, military credit
     • Aircraft signage, parking signage, special-needs                  card, military standard forms
       signage, off-airport signage, ticket booth                  Tugs available and fueled
       signage and prices, first-aid locations                        • Tow bars, starter units
                                                                   POL available
XI. AIRPORT                                                        Fuel type and quantity availability
                                                                   Type of trucks and nozzle flow rate
  Alternate airport landing facilities                             Fly-in aircraft servicing procedures
  (emergency landings)                                             Smoke oil

     • Designated storage area, resupply truck,           Crowd line secure
       dispense method, hand pump/motor                   24-hour security

XIII. PARKING:                                          XVI. MEDICAL:

  Establish “hot ramp parking area”                       Ambulance(s) on site
  (later these vehicles could become a hazard to          Physician requirements
  emergency vehicles or traffic)                          Life Flight helo availability
  Parking plan                                            Local hospitals advised of event
  Alternate parking plan (in case you lose your           Signage to help locate a medical facility
 parking because of excessive rain)                       Communications
  How are the spectators coming in?
  How are the spectators going out?                     XVII. COMMUNICATIONS:
  Civilian police briefed
  Emergency routes                                        Ground operations requirements
  Military teams route                                    Air operations requirements
  Performer route                                         Medical requirements
  Adequate amount of parking attendants on site           Security requirements
  Alternate parking site (overflow parking)                  • Law enforcement, crowd control
  Handicapped parking availability                        Parking attendants
  Special needs                                           Radio sign-out sheet
  VIP parking area                                        Cell phones
  Performer parking area                                  Back-up equipment and chargers
  Military teams parking area                             Communication net
                                                             • Ground operations net, emergency net,
XIV TRAFFICKING:                                               security net, parking net

  Outside the air-show site                             XVIII. HOSPITALITY:
     • Arrival access roads
  Inside the airshow site                                 Hangar party
     • Intersection traffic to parking areas                 • Equipment, tables, chairs
  Hot ramp area                                           Caterer contract
     • Proper vehicle authorization                       Band/DJ
  Emergency routes                                           • Contract, staging, electrical
  Performer routes                                        Beverages
                                                             • Beer and wine, method to identify minors,
XV SECURITY:                                                   nonalcoholic
                                                          Facility lighting
  Established authorized “person on the hot               VIP invitations
 ramp”                                                    Pilots lounge
  Perimeter secure                                           • Message centerboard, chairs, tables, phone
  Copy of the credentials/security passes                      (to contact unit or family)
  Ticket sellers                                          Meal schedule
     • Start up cash/money float (change)                    • Volunteers, staff
  Ticket takers

XIX. CORPORATE SPONSORS:                                            however, on-call may be good planning)
                                                               Generator(s) requirements for electricity
  Tables/linens                                               XXIII. ACCOUNTING:
  Catering                                                     Determine performer method of payment
  Resupply                                                     schedule
  Trash                                                        Advance payments to performers
  Security                                                     Military team advance payments
  Credentials/passes/parking                                   Arrange for the handling and accounting of
  Area for military team guests                                cash payments
                                                               Checks signed on short notice
17. WATER:                                                     Arrange for novelties closeout
                                                               Arrange for concessions closeout
  Spectator                                                    Prepare air-show profit/loss statement
    • Fixed faucet locations, water buffalo(s),                Cash pick-up at ticketing booths
      resupply, tent coverage cups, trash, ice signage
  Performers                                                      .
                                                              XXIV TICKETING:
    • Ice, cold drinks, water
                                                               Prior to the airshow:
XXI. ON-SITE VEHICLES:                                            • Establish advance ticket sales
                                                                  • Monitor advance ticketing sales
  Establish vehicles on the hot ramp policy                       • Establish coupon redemption
  Establish refueling plan                                     During the airshow
  Key control and spare keys available                            • Arrange for qualified staffing
  Turn-in plan                                                    • Staff each booth accordingly
  Golf carts                                                      • Heavy-flow areas/low-flow areas
    • Rental agreement, quantity required,                        • Arrange for cash pick-ups
      concessions requirements, medical                           • Arrange for cash advance
      requirements, insurance                                     • Cash drawers/money bags/aprons
  Automobiles                                                  Tentage
    • Military team requirements, performer                       • Tents at each ticketing area
      requirements, special requirements, insurance            Signage
  Pick-up trucks                                                  • Ticket prices
    • Performer requirements, smoke oil resupply,              Support
      trash collection crew, hot pit transportation               • Water/ice/coolers
      for performers                                              • Food/lunches for staff
                                                              XXV MEDIA:
      REQUIREMENTS:                                            Advance publicity
                                                               Coordinate commercial television and radio
  Heavy equipment                                              time availability
    • Crane (big enough to lift the largest aircraft;          Research media buy
      doesn’t necessarily have to be on hand;                  Determine media plan (budget)

 Television commercials (30-second spots)                     • Flight time
 Video                                                        • Hometown
   • Background music track                                   • Aircraft/make, model, engine type, use
   • Voice-over talent                                        • Media booth location
   • Video production studio                                  • Show schedule/times
   • Sponsors logo/placement/number of times               Establish and inform the media of a “briefing
     shown                                                 room” (This is helpful in gathering the media in
   • Produce “raw footage” tape for news stations          case of an emergency)
   • Acquire “on air” interview schedule
 Radio commercials (60-second spots)                     XXVI. SIGNAGE:
   • Voice-over talent
   • Background music track                                Outside the airport
   • Sound recording studio                                Direction signs to the parking area
   • Acquire “on air” interview schedule                                                       ,
                                                              • General public, performers, VIP special needs
 Secure advance publicity materials                        Direction signs to the ticketing booths
   • Jet team                                              Ticketing/prices
   • Performers                                            Inside the airport
   • History of airshow                                    Commercial booths
   • Interesting numbers and facts                         Static displays
   • Photographs (8” x 10”)                                Medical stations
   • Video (3/4”, Beta)                                    General public signage
   • Narratives                                               • Restrooms, telephones, baby changing area,
 Publish the air-show advance publicity packet                  information, lost and found
   • Photographs                                           Exiting the airport
   • Narratives on performers                              Direction signage to control the flow of traffic
   • Particular specifications


    The information contained in this booklet is intended as a
guide in understanding the rules, procedures, and policies appli-
cable to planning and conducting an airport open house.
    It is not intended to replace the necessary research and review
of applicable law or policies that may be required for a particular
event. It is not intended to give legal advice or take the place of
an attorney who can advise with respect to a particular situation.
    While every care has been exercised in the preparation of this
booklet, AOPA can not and does not accept responsibility for an
individual’s reliance on its contents.
    Please share with us what does—and what does not—work
for you at your open house event. We’ll compile your reports
and incorporate them into future updates of this publication.

   This publication was produced by the AOPA Regional
Affairs Department

   Bill Dunn - Vice President
   Miguel Vasconcelos - Director, Airports
   Christy Gerencher - Manager, Airport Policy
   Mary Catherine Tennant - Manager, ASN
   Heidi Williams - ASN Analysist

A Publication of the AOPA Airport Support Network
        421 Aviation Way, Frederick, Maryland 21701
           301-695-2000 •

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