As a recent appointee to the Douglas County Airport Advisory Committee, and a nonpilot, I’ve been getting involved with the Minden Tahoe Airport’s community events as one way to bring myself up to speed on airport operations.
Sports Aviation Foundation Trustee Gerie Stanko’s May 24 R-C letter to the editor documented the very successful three-day Youth Aviation Adventure for sixth graders at the airport, for which I served as a guide. I had also attended the Young Eagles program at the airport in April that provided youngsters an opportunity to fly with a private pilot. SoaringNV, the glider business at the airport, generously provided personnel and aircraft resources to support both events.
The next large scale event will be the motor glider fly-in, arriving at the airport Thursday, July 25, departing Sunday, July 28. These unique airplanes are considered exotic, even by seasoned aviation buffs. The general public is encouraged to come out for a look at these rare birds and have a meal at the newly remodeled Taildragger Cafe.
Another Youth Aviation Adventure has been penciled in for Aug. 23, again hosted by the county airport and sponsored by the Sports Aviation Foundation. SAF President Linda Mae Draper-Hivert will have further information available at the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
SAF plans to sponsor an “Annual Round-Up and Fly-In” at the airport scheduled for October 5, an opportunity for visitors to see a variety of aircraft on display and chat with some visiting pilots.
For my next letter I will include information from my interviews with the owners of aviation businesses at or adjacent to the county airport. I did not know until I was appointed to the AAC that these businesses, combined with the airport’s commercial operations, generate $40 million in economic activity and employ quite a lot of folks. The airport also hosts critical safety operations such as the Civil Air Patrol and supports fire suppression aircraft (or as I call them, water bombers).
Meanwhile, members of the public can schedule airport tours by contacting Airport Manager Bobbi Thompson or Operations Manager Chris Johnson.
Howard Charney chairs the Airport Advisory Committee, whose members are appointed by the Douglas County Board of County Commissioners. We meet every other month in the commission chambers at the old county courthouse on Eighth Street. Our meetings are open to the public.