I would like to think that we are out of the bad winter weather and we will be having some good flying weather for a while. The white mountains around us are something to behold, but the white airports with snow covered runways are another. Check NOTAMS and fly carefully.
It’s that time of the year that the state legislature is in session and our legislators are working on new laws and on the budget for the next year. In past years some of these budgets have resulted in the State Aviation Fund being swept into the State General Fund to come up with a balanced budget. Well, this year things are a bit different. Finances are a lot better, and as a result, two bills have been introduced in the House of Representative that were a bit of a shocker to me. They are HB2455 and HB2456 and were passed by the Transportation Committee. HB2455 is designed to keep the Arizona Aviation Fund from being swept to the State General Fund, and HB 2456, as amended, provides for the transfer of $10,000,000 from Arizona’s General Fund to the Aviation Fund, to assist local communities in maintaining and improving airports that are critical to Arizona’s access to the national airspace system. These bills have been through first and second readings and will be considered by the full House soon. Budget debates are around the corner in both the House and the Senate, and support for these measures is very critical to all of Arizona’s aviation-related businesses. We would like you to please review these bills on AZLEG.GOV and send in your support of these bills, and if you know any of the legislators, contact them, and ask them for their support also.
In past years significant amounts have been swept from the Aviation Fund, and it’s time to restore the Aviation Fund so we can maintain the infrastructure we have and introduce safety enhancements necessary to meet the needs of the aviation community.
News is a bit in short supply because the quarterly meeting of the Phoenix Airspace Users Working Group (PAUWG) was canceled this month due to the Government Shutdown. The next meeting will be in May.
There is a new, updated Grand Canyon Aeronautical chart that was effective February 28, 2019, and the chart is being scheduled for updating on a six-month interval. The last chart was issued in 2001 and was sporadically updated only when air traffic control requested a change.
How about that, it’s been a month and we haven’t seen a GPS Interference testing notice. I don’t know if it is a result of the government shut down or if the testing has finally been wrapped up. I hope it’s the latter. I guess we shall see.
Once again, we want to remind you that many airports around the entire state, and most airports in the Phoenix area, are either planning or starting construction projects. So, as we keep telling you, always check for NOTAMS at your destination airport, and always fly informed. Besides, with the winter weather we recently had, a number of airports in the northern parts of the state were closed because of snow on the runways. Now that they have gotten cleared, use extra caution when taxiing around the parking areas, especially if you have a low wing airplane. All this snow in some cases, has gotten piled up a bit, so watch your wing tips and keep track of where they are with respect to the snow banks piled along the edges of the paved areas.
Aviation safety has gotten off on a questionable start with a report of five accidents recognized by the NTSB so far this year. Fortunately, most were relative minor in nature, and only a couple of people were hurt, and there were no fatalities; that is good news. See my March Aviation Accident Summary for the available details. Unfortunately, with the current situation, it may be a while before we get a final year end look at what happened last year.
As you are aware, APA is working with several airports around the state to update their Airport Master Plans, providing the pilot and aircraft owner’s perspective in the process. Falcon Field (FFZ) is entering the final stage of their master plan update program and will wrap up shortly. Page Municipal Airport (PGA), Lake Havasu City Municipal Airport (HII), Superior Municipal Airport (E81), Sedona Airport (SEZ), Flagstaff (FLG), and Grand Canyon Airport (GCN) airports are currently in their Master Plan update process.
THINGS TO DO - PLACES TO FLY FOR BREAKFAST:
- The fly in breakfast at Coolidge Municipal Airport (P08), is on the first Saturday of the month.
- The Falcon Field EAA Warbirds Squadron fly in breakfast and car show is on the third Saturday of the month. Starting this year, they will also have a Fly Market during the breakfast. If you have an aviation item to sell, bring it and sell it, or come and see what’s for sale that you must have.
- On the third Saturday, the fly in breakfast at Benson (E95) at Southwest Aviation is now on a quarterly basis. Check the calendar for the next fly-in date. (There are still special fuel prices for breakfast attendees.)
- The Grapevine Airstrip (88AZ) next to Roosevelt Lake is open to fly into any time, but the BBQ lunch hosted by APA is on the third Saturday weekend of each month through May.
- The last Saturday of the month there is a fly in breakfast at Casa Grande Municipal Airport (CGZ). The Airport’s restaurant, Foxtrot Cafe, operating in the air cooled Terminal Building, is open 6:30am to 2:00pm Monday thru Saturday. On the last Saturday of the month they have a “Fly in Breakfast Special” available on the menu; the price for adults is $8 and kids $5.
- At Tucson’s Ryan Field Airport, Richie’s Cafe, is serving breakfast and lunch daily. The hours are 6:00 am to 2:00 pm
AS A SIDE NOTE: We got this invitation at the recent Copperstate Fly In. If you have a fast airplane, and looking for a place to go, there is an EAA Chapter Free Pancake Breakfast from 8:00 to 10:30 am at Calvada Airpark (74P) on April 6, 2019. Fuel; $3.81/Gal. 100LL They have an extensive menu, and it should be good. (Calvada (74P) is located 40nm west of Las Vegas near Pahrump, NV.)
Check with the APA Getaway Flights program
and online calendar for fun weekend places to fly.