Wednesday, August 13, 2014

National Aviation Day observed at Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport (KIFP), Bullhead City, Arizona

BULLHEAD CITY — The Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport will host National Aviation Day on Saturday.

The free event is a 75-year tradition at the airport. The airport will be open to the public from 8 to 11 a.m., with a variety of aircraft on display and a free breakfast. The event will be held at Landmark Aviation, the airport's fixed base operator, located one block south of the main terminal building and passenger boarding area, 2550 Laughlin View Drive in Bullhead City.

“This isn't an air show. It's a chance for people of all ages to not only see aircraft but to talk to the people who fly and maintain them,” said Airport Director Jeremy Keating in a news release.

The airport's flight schedule for the morning includes three airline landings and departures for the public to watch. The airport serves the tri-state area, including the community of Lake Havasu City.

For more information, call 928-754-2134.

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Spectators and performers prepare for the Atlantic City Airshow - Thunder Over The Boardwalk 

ATLANTIC CITY - The sound of thunder has returned to South Jersey, and Tuesday, one lucky woman had the chance to fly with the Air Force Thunderbirds as they prepare for Wednesday's airshow. 

 "We were inverted, we were doing rolls, and we're doing g-pulls."

Andrea Lawful–Trainer was nominated as a hometown hero for her role as a volunteer and mentor to more than 25 young people and adults in the community. Hard work, that earned her the flight of a lifetime.

"I was so excited, I never thought in a million years this would happen," said Lawful-Trainer.

As for the aerial acrobatics Andrea experienced today. . .

"They'll see all of that and more this week at the show," said Major Mike Fisher of the Thunderbirds.

From modern F–16s to vintage World War Two planes, the Geico Skytypers took to the skies above Atlantic City on several occasions Tuesday as they look ahead to Wednesday's show.

"It's going to be a terrific show right here on the boardwalk in Atlantic City,” said Steve Kapur, Pilot for the Skytypers. “The Air Force Thunderbirds are here to fly, we're here to fly, we do a tight formation right down on the water in front of the fans."

Like the Thunderbirds, the Skytypers fly in shows around the country, but pilots say, there is something special about Thunder Over the Boardwalk.

"People are just really open and warm and glad to have us and it's a terrific turn out on the beach when we do the show," said Kapur.

Here in Atlantic City, spectators dodged some stray rain drops and took advantage of a much thinner crowd for Tuesday's practice run.

"I think it's the best event of the year, I love it," said spectator Sean Kelleher.

Kelleher and his family come see the practice show each year to avoid the large crowds. "We've come on the Wednesday and it's so crowded you can't even move."

Others like Mike and Rose Carson from Ohio purposely planned their trip to Atlantic City around the show. "We've seen a couple of parachutist, we've seen the flights that are going on now, its making us look forward to tomorrow," said Rose.

Fans hope that Tuesday's clouds disappear, but plenty of thunder sticks around for Wednesday's show.

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Atlantic City Air Show: Where to park and where to watch

The "Thunder over the Boardwalk" air show takes place on Wednesday August 13th starting at 11am, and is one of the most well attended Atlantic City events, with an expected 200,000 fans this year. If you can get a great spot on the boardwalk or other open air space, that's amazing, but if you don't want to take any chances, here are a few options for you and the family.

2 VIP packages with exclusive patio seating are available from 11am-4pm. You can choose a 4 Course Meal plus a 2 hour drink package OR classic t-shirt & Air Show pin, plus 20% off a Steel Pier ticket book. All ages are welcome $75/adult and $15 per child. 

Witness the Air Show with spectacular center stage seating by joining the Flight Line Club. From 11:30am-3:30pm tickets are only $50 per person which gets you VIP and all you can eat and drink or $30 per person which include general admission with meal and drink. Tickets can be purchased through A.C. Boardwalk Hall box office or all Ticketmaster locations. You can also call 609-813-2121. 

Join the Foundation Room on their balcony for their Air Show party 10am-4pm. $100 for VIP seating (adults only) includes a private table on the dining room balcony, family style tapas, prosecco, lounge buffet and 1 drink ticket. $75 for Reserved Seating (children $35) includes a designated area on the balcony, champagne, lounge buffet and 1 drink ticket. $50 for General Admission (children $35) includes standing room on the balcony, lounge buffet and 1 drink ticket. Call 609-343-4523. 

View this supersonic exhibition from the exquisite air-conditioned space and outdoor terrace. Enjoy perfected views, a seat for the show and an upscale luncheon menu. Cash bar is available as well as VIP upgraded packages. $100 per person from 10:30am-3:30pm. Call 609-343-9902 or

CONVENIENT PARKING OPTIONS 1. The Wave Parking Garage on the corner of Mississippi and Fairmount Ave has rates of $7 for up to eight hours and $10 after eight hours during the Air Show. The parking lot located on the opposite corner at 2313 Fairmount Ave will offer $10 Park & Walk from 8am-8pm.

2. A $20 Park & Ride option will be available on the Atlantic City Expressway’s surface lot located at milepost 4 (eastbound) and milepost 3.5 (westbound). Shuttles will run continuously between the lot and the Boardwalk at Indiana Avenue from 9am-5pm on the day of the Air Show. 

3. A $20 Jitney Park & Ride option will be available from Bader Field with shuttles running continuously from 9am-4:30pm on the day of the Air Show. Shuttles will drop off and pick up all riders from Albany avenue. For more information check out 

4. 24-hour garage parking will also be available at the New York Avenue garage located at 19 South New York Avenue between Atlantic and Pacific avenues. Rates on the day of the Air Show are $3 up to two hours, $4 after third hour, $5 after fourth hour, $6 after fifth hour and $7 up to 24 hours. 


Sacramento County approves cargo-friendly Mather plan

Sacramento County Supervisors approved a plan Tuesday to expand air cargo operations at Mather Airport, despite widespread opposition from neighboring communities.

Supervisors voted 3-1 for a master plan that calls for $107 million in improvements for the former U.S. Air Force base turned over to the county about 20 years ago. The improvements will bring the airport up to current standards for cargo and general aviation, and include lengthening a runway and adding technology that will make it easier to land in fog.

The plan envisions 2 percent annual growth in cargo traffic at the airport.

Mather Airport generates about as many noise complaints as the county’s three other airports – Sacramento International, Franklin Field and Executive – combined. Critics of the Mather expansion comprised the majority of speakers at Tuesday’s nearly five-hour hearing, citing noise as their primary concern. The county also received nearly 300 letters about the plan, most of them in opposition, including one from the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors.

“I’ve got 5,000 people who are being woke up by noise,” Folsom Mayor Kerri Howell told supervisors.

Supervisors Phil Serna, Don Nottoli and Jimmie Yee voted for the plan, arguing that the county has a duty to develop the property since receiving it from the Air Force following the base’s decommissioning. Other supporters said development at the base is long overdue.

Supervisor Susan Peters did not vote. She has an ownership interest in office buildings and land at Mather Field and has said she will not vote on the master plan because of a potential conflict of interest.

Supervisor Roberta MacGlashan, whose district includes Folsom, voted against the plan. She said concern about noise was one reason, but also questioned whether investing in cargo makes business sense, given changes in the industry.

The master plan acknowledged that air cargo has declined dramatically due to increased regulations, gas prices and other industry trends. The plan scaled back some of the earlier projections for cargo growth.

Airport officials also explained that supervisors would have the chance to revisit components of the plan in the future. They will be asked to approve financing for each element.

Critics questioned some of those projects, especially an $800,000 system officials say is needed to help pilots land in fog. That’s because an airport official said that fog causes flight diversions at Mather only six times a year. Howell said such an investment would be a waste of taxpayers’ dollars.

An airport official said UPS has identified the equipment at its top priority for Mather improvements.

The landing equipment also came under fire recently when Folsom and El Dorado County officials learned that the county had purchased the equipment before approving the master plan and a related environmental review.

Several speakers at Tuesday’s meeting suggested the county may face a legal challenge over its environmental review, which found that the airport improvements would not lead to a significant increase in noise. They criticized the county for not studying a switch of cargo traffic back to International Airport, where it was handled before Mather was given to the county.

Sacramento County Counsel John Whisenhunt told supervisors that the environmental review meets state law.

Editor's note (Aug. 12): Due to an editor's error, The Bee mistakenly posted a prepared version of this story online before Tuesday's vote based on earlier reporting and initial comments at the meeting. The early version prematurely said supervisors had passed the Mather plan on a 3-1 vote.