IN THIS ISSUE
Next Meeting:Wednesday January 21, 2003, Venice City Hall 7:30 pm
THE V.A.S.I. Angle
As you recall the November meeting was cancelled so that we could attend the AOPA meeting in Tampa. This proved to be a very interesting meeting. Others will cover the meeting in more detail but I wanted to review one part covered by Phil Boyer. He discussed the strategy that AOPA used in cooperation with two local organizations committed to preserving Albert Whitted Field. The basic strategy was to address two issues – how Albert Whitted Airport had contributed to the history of Saint Petersburg, and what would the developers do with the airport. I think that we could think of these two aspects and one other when considering the importance of Venice Municipal Airport.
First, VNC played an important role in the history of the city of Venice. Many bomber pilots were trained at VNC. In addition, during times of slow economic activity throughout Florida the military presence here helped preserve the city by stabilizing its economy.
The question of what developers would do with the land is interesting. Some developers have
proposed making part of the property a park. What, then, of the rest of the property?
Some people have suggested putting a high rise condominium or hotel there. In my opinion that
would absolutely ruin the charm and quaintness of our city. Another park would be nice but we
mustn’t let people bundle one project with another especially when only a few people would
prosper from a high rise.
Continued page 2
Mission Control: The VASI “AIM”
Presidents Message cont.
Another aspect of importance when considering VNC is to look to the future at the property around the airport to see how that could be used to enhance the city and enhance the airport at the same time. If you’ve ever read the book Free Flight or heard about the NASA project from which the book took its name you’d immediately understand the importance of Venice Municipal Airport. Several government agencies have been working on a project called "free flight" where they map out highways in the sky. These are routes established not on traditional airways by traditional navigational systems but by GPS. These routes will enhance the safety of air travel ultimately leading to a dramatic increase in this mode of transportation. Possibly air transportation will be used to a greater extent than cars. After all, an electronic airway in the sky is much cheaper to maintain then cement with potholes. The size and location of VNC make it ideally suited to this kind of transportation model. At VASI we are committed to promoting Venice Municipal Airport and by looking at our history and the future we will continue to work toward maintaining and improving this facility.
To that end I thought I would let you know about something on which we have recently started working. I asked Bart Bartanowicz what it would take to get another GPS approach to VNC. He, as you know, is a wealth of information about how to get things done with the FAA. He contacted regional FAA people and then drafted a letter that we sent to Larry Heath requesting that two GPS approaches be developed, one to runway 04 and another to 31. Larry Heath sent me a reply today saying that he’ll table this until the new airport manager starts on December 15th. I think that GPS approaches to these runways should be fairly simple and inexpensive to develop, since they are over water, and that these would enhance safety. This may open a way for us to have a precision WAAS approach into VNC as that system becomes more widely used.
Venice and the surrounding area have always received great benefit from the airport and the future benefits promise to be even greater. Not only in terms of maintaining and enhancing access to the city but also in preserving a unique open space that contributes far more to the quality of life enjoyed here that many people realize.
I apologize for the long letter this month but so much has happened and so much is to be done that I wanted to keep you informed on as much of this as possible. Have a wonderful holiday and I look forward to seeing you at the January 21, 2004 (7:30 PM, Venice City Hall) meeting.
Joseph Rand, MD
The city has announced the selection of our new airport manager. He is Robert Hernandez, and he comes out of Texas. At this writing, I don’t know much about his background. My hope is that he recognizes the difference between the needs of a general aviation airport and an airline airport. We will invite him to be our guest at the first available VASI meeting.
The city elections are over. We have two new council members. They are John Simmons and Vicki Taylor, both of whom presented very well at our VASI meeting in October. Ms Taylor has followed up her victory with encouraging action. She has taken a ride in a general aviation aircraft.
VASI president Joe Rand took her up just days after the election. She was able to see her city from the air, and she saw the impression her airport gives to arriving pilots. They flew to Lakeland where she was exposed to a well-run and well-funded airport with well-paved runways. She got a look at how Venice airport fits into the system.
She is interested in taking more flights, and VASI board members will be showing her other comparable airports in the area. Punta Gorda has done very well with improvement projects funded in part by the FAA. They have a bit of a different governmental hierarchy, though. PGD has an airport manager who reports to an airport board, where we will have a manager who reports to an assistant city manager who reports to a city manager who reports to the city council, which gets advice from a city attorney and then reports to the voters. Just a slight variation.
With all the misperceptions people have about aviation, it is refreshing to see an elected official make an effort to educate herself.
Dues are Due.
I will be writing my check for my 2004 VASI membership. Write yours, too. $20. VASI works, and you get back more than $20 worth.
By the way, we have a new treasurer in Paul Hollowel. He actually volunteered for the job. Give him a break, and write a check. If everyone shows up with cash, he will have every pocket stuffed with those new 20’s, and might lose track of which one belongs to you. Seriously, it makes bookkeeping and recording a little less prone to error if you write a check.
Next year should be a good year for VASI and VNC. We expect to have a speaker from the Bahamas Tourism Office as our January speaker. Now that I have two additional cylinders and room for luggage, I have promised to take Pam to the Bahamas in 2004.
Sorry for the disjointed rambling, I promise a better column next time.
Hello everyone, by the time you receive this newsletter the new airport manager, Robert Hernandez will be just about moved in .He comes to us from Dallas Love Field where he was assistant operations manager . A native Floridian he begins his job on 15 Dec. Let's give Robert a hearty welcome and quite frankly give each other a "well done" for staying the course.
This past year has brought to fruition many of the basic reasons VASI was established -- one prime driving goal of VASI was getting a full time (with professional credentials) airport manager. To our founding members, many are still active in VASI, a real thank you and to everyone else a real thank you as well. VASI has evolved into the "voice of aviation" in Venice.
Today the security/airport access issues loom large; last year the FAA/Golf Club/Diversion of funds issue was front and center. New T-hangars are being constructed and the business park will become a reality. The future of VNC looks bright and VASI members help maintain that oversight so critical to public facilities.
At our last meeting we listened to potential city council members and now with the election over congratulations to Vicki Taylor and John Simmonds on running solid campaigns and becoming the newest council members. As an organization VASI has strived to establish positive relationships with all members of the community and we look forward to working with our airport manager as well as the new council members.
During Oct. my wife and I spent a long weekend in New Jersey visiting our daughter and son-in law- it was a great visit and I had a chance to visit the local airport, sometimes reality bites and bites hard—Tied down spaces (if you can get one) $400.00 a month; T-hanger $2,500.00 a month; better T-hanger $3,500-$4000 a month; landing fee (sent to owner of a/c, tower gets N number of a/c) $15 and up; one FBO on field $25 a night to park; fuel not quite $4/ gal. Name of field - Morristown, NJ. We are very fortunate to have what we have- can we help make it better, sure we can.
As an organization we are as strong as our membership- each of us needs to pay our dues for ' 03 and send in that $20.00 check for ' 04 to our new Treasurer, Paul Hollowell, 417 Mahon Dr., Venice, FL. 34285.I f you read your mailing label you will see a number 02,03 etc. that shows your dues status ; if for example you see an 02 you have not paid your dues for the current year (03) ...enough about dues - what we need are new members ANYONE who uses airport property should be a member-Student Pilots, FBOs, Flight Schools, any Business, even the GOLF COURSE ,OLD PEOPLES CENTER and CHAMBER OF COMMERCE have interests in VNC > let's recruit new members...I'm very grateful that Bill F. took the time to explain VASI to me and introduced me to a great group of people ; let's all get a new member for the new year. Hope you went to the AOPA town meeting and learned what it took to save Albert Whitted(SPG )in St.Pete. Happy Thanksgiving everyone , fly safe and see you at the next meeting in January…
Joseph Rand, MD
VASI Airport Advisory Board
The VASI Angle
P.O. Box 1153
Venice, FL 34284
Bold New Look
Airmen certificates have been printed on paper since 1926. A century of extraordinary accomplishments in powered flight is represented by the bold new look of airmen certificates printed on composite plastic. The card front depicts the qualities of the human spirit that made the first controlled powered flight, in the 1903 Wright Flyer, to the billions of commercial flights following, a reality. The card back depicts Wilbur and Orville Wright and the 1902 Wright Glider, representing the many pioneers, visionaries, and adventurers that dreamed about the possibility of flight and created reality. The hologram of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) seal, colored graphics, and other features make this certificate worthy of the Civil Aviation Registry’s efforts to celebrate aviation and help chart the next century of flight. We hope you will carry your certificate with pride as it represents your accomplishments and privileges and our commitment to the aviation community.
Many thanks to Millar Brainard for many years of dedicated service. Millar has retired from his job here at VASI. We all thank him for keeping the membership lists current, keeping track of the Dues, and keeping the books balanced. His other contributions to this group are too many to mention. Thanks for helping to make VASI what it is today.
Comments, Complaints, Suggestions & Volunteers
--IF ANYONE HAS AN IDEA,SUGGESTION, COMPLAINTor WOULD VOLUNTEER A LITTLE TIME, SEND NICK AN E-MAIL OR WRITE IT UP AND SLIP INTO MY HANGER #96 (same hangar building as sheriff's helicopter- north side across from Ray Hoey). Fly Safe see you at the meeting.
Nick Carlucci. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. 941-408-7777
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