Aloha Fellow Pilots and Aviation Supporters,
Your GACH Board of Directors has been very busy since our last newsletter. GACH has significantly increased our exposure within the Airports Division (DOTA) and Hawaii Legislature.
Our first big effort in April was to have our first-ever Hawaii Aviation Days down at the State Capitol in sponsorship with AOPA. It was a “soft opening” since we were exploring new experiences. We had approximately 12 local aviation vendors on display on the fourth floor of the Capitol building.
The location was right outside the doors of Representative Aquino, House Chair of the Transportation Committee. Representative Aquino was very gracious in helping to sponsor the event. The GACH booth had a continuously running slide show of “What General Aviation in Hawaii is all about.”
Many State Senators, Representatives and their staff as well as the general public stopped by all displays and asked questions about GA. We feel GA made great contacts on that day that will led to future support from the legislature.
The day culminated in an introduction of GACH and AOPA at the House general session and the presentation of an AOPA medal and award to the late Senator Kahele for his support of aviation (his son, newly appointed Senator Kai Kahele, accepted the award).
The contacts GACH made at the Capitol that day paid dividends during the next month. See AOPA activity in Hawaii for more information.
In May, GACH conducted a tour of the Honolulu International Airport (HNL) South Ramp for Senators Espero, Kim and Representative LoPristi and Senator Shimabukuro’s senior staffer. The tour started at Lagoon Drive security entrance and went to the T Hangars, a flight school, a charter operation, a maintenance repair shop, a medical air evacuation operation, and a commuter and helicopter operator.
This was the first time for all these people to see this side of Honolulu Airport and everyone asked the right questions and saw the problems that GA is experiencing. A special Mahalo goes to Bill Melohn who help set up the tour, Lucy McLachlan of Pacific Air Charters who drove the people and to all the vendors who opened their businesses up to the legislatures.
This tour has led to an opening for further discussions and meetings and a reception for supporting future GA legislation. GACH is planning to conduct future tours with different legislatures in the next several months and are looking to have similar tours on the other islands. If anyone can help, please contact us immediately.
GACH has also made a big effort to attend every State of Hawaii-sponsored aviation meeting whether we were or not formally invited. We feel that there were too many meetings that the general aviation users needed to be present and be part of either the information flow or the decision making process.
I have asked Bill Baldwin, our one of two Directors from Maui, to attend the Maui Airport (OGG) user meeting and other meetings planned. Between Bruce Mayes and myself, we attended the HNL users’ meeting, AECOM Runway Safety Planning meeting, and the JRF AOB meeting.
We will continue to attend those meetings and others but again need help on other islands to get GA represented—so again call if you can help (great for people who are retired since most of the meetings occur during State business hours).
GACH has also sent letters to support the need for an airport users’ meeting where a true dialogue can occur at all airports, not a structured meeting where DOTA-GA Officer just informs us of what is happening. GACH also sent another letter to the Director of DOT asking again for a review and rewrite of DOTA’s Hawaii Administrative Rules (HARs). Items that GACH asked for in the past (see past GACH Newsletters) have not been addressed but still need to be fixed. The DOTA security is still issuing criminal citations for minor infractions like parking of aircraft in a wrong place (in some cases the aircraft were parked legally but the DOTA inspecting team had outdated information).
We had another great Hana Fly In in June. Please make certain that this event is listed as re-occurring on your calendar. GACH is also planning a Fly In at Kalaeloa Airport (JRF) on September 24. Barry Redmayne and Bruce Mayes are still in the planning phase for this event. If you can help and can contribute an interesting aircraft for display, please contact GACH. Stay tuned for details.
Lastly, GACH is only as good as its members. Please continue to support GACH and its support of Hawaii GA through ideas, dues support, event attendance and donating your time when you can. GACH is looking for representation from Hawaii and Kauai—if you can help let us know.
Keep the shiny side up,
Rob Moore, President