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Colorado ‘Aviation Saves' Event Highlights Industry's Value

June 13, 2011

The Colorado Aviation Business Association's (CABA) "Aviation Saves" 2011 open house attracted large crowds, raised more than $5,000 for charity and more than accomplished its overall mission of spreading the word about the importance of business aviation to the state of Colorado, according to association officials. "It was an awesome event and we received lots of great feedback," said Reggie Arsenault, CABA chairman and senior manager of Jeppesen.

This was CABA's second "Aviation Saves" event. Like the first, which was held in April 2010, its message of "Aviation Saves Lives, Jobs, Communities, Businesses, Local Economies and More" echoed the themes central to the No Plane, No Gain advocacy campaign, sponsored jointly by NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.

Held June 10-11 at Centennial Airport in Englewood, CO, "Aviation Saves" 2011 featured something for everyone, including a charity golf tournament, airplane displays, exhibits, a B-17 fly-in and more.

Friday mornings' opening golf tournament, sponsored by Signature Aviation, attracted 104 golfers and raised $5,000 for the "Give the Kids The World Village" organization, said Arsenault. The tournament was followed by an opening night dinner and dance where more than 280 attendees heard presentations by NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen; Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association president and CEO Craig Fuller; and GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce.

CABA also gave away three $2,000 scholarships during the dinner. "Two of the recipients are in college and pursing continuing education in aviation," Arsenault said. "The other recipient is a high-school senior who is going off to [a local college]."

Saturday's B-17 fly-in was sponsored jointly by the Denver-based Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum and Experimental Aircraft Association. Dozens of planes also were on display on the tarmac, while 22 exhibits were featured in the airport hangar for viewing between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday.

Both "Aviation Saves" events required countless hours of planning, preparation and management by scores of CABA volunteers. Given the level of commitment required, Arsenault said CABA plans to make Aviation Saves a biennial event going forward.

"With the amount of resources it takes to pull it off, I'm not sure there's an appetite to do it every year," Arsenault said, adding that CABA is talking to NBAA about hosting one of NBAA's four regional events in Denver in 2012.