This years Washington Pilots Association retreat held at Lake Chelan was unique in that 7 of us wanted to connect remotely due to the coronavirus outbreak and not wanting to expose others to viruses or be exposed. So, I set up a live meeting via GoToMeeting which worked fairly well. I am going to be researching several packages and then recommend that WPA purchase a live meeting license for use as we grow and expand our organization. I would like to setup live meetings for each state meeting to encourage participation by the chapters who may not otherwise attend. Also, live meeting can be a powerful tool in increasing the audience to our safety and education seminars.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak WSDOT and the AOPA representative did not show up, but we still had a lively discussion. We started Saturday morning off with a presentation from Roei Ganzarski, CEO of magniX. Roei gave a very informative presentation on the magniX, the all-electric propulsion system for commercial Aviation. The system consists of a high torque electric motor and batteries that can weigh 2000+ lbs and give you roughly 1 hour of flight time in a Beaver for example. A Youtube video that highlights the magniX work is contained here: https://youtu.be/teLGZ-ojldY.
John Dobson provided a legislative update. Unfortunately, none of the aviation related bills, 1457, CARB (5011), etc. made it this session due to partisan bickering. Washington does a poor job of funding airports compared to other states. We are leaving a lot of money on the table as the Federal government will pay 90% of a project and the state only has to come up with 10%. Bill 1457 will help address this problem by funneling 1% of the sales tax collected on aviation products and services to the WSDOT aviation account. You will be asked to contact your state representative as we try to get these bills passed in the next legislative session.
As you probably know Jerry Barkley has been doing a great job of rolling out a benefits package for all WPA members whereby we can receive discounts on aviation products and services. One of the main goals from the Lake Chelan retreat is to grow our membership by 500 members statewide. That is roughly a 50% growth from where we currently are, but it is certainly doable. If you know a Washington pilot who is not a WPA member, please encourage them to join.
John Dobson also spent some time talking about Airport Management and how critical the master plans are for ensuring the airports meets the needs of GA in addition to commercial air. Your Paine Field Chapter board will be working closely with the Paine Field management as they update the master plan with the removal of runway 11/29, adding a second FBO, hangers, and other GA friendly infrastructure.