July 1st through 4th
submitted by 2013 SWPC Convention Chair – Andy Seligson
We’ve had some positive developments regarding aircraft parking at the Saratoga airport (5B2) in the last 24 hours. I don’t want to sound repetitive, but this town & location has soooo much to offer anyone! The airport is an uncontrolled field with 4000’ & 4700 paved runways, an active sailplane presence, one FBO (same price for fuel by truck or pump for us), and various areas of hard surface aircraft parking with rings in the concrete for tiedown ropes. We explained to the eager FBO & airport manager exactly what we want to do with this convention and how many aircraft we are expecting. No problem says the manager. There’s plenty of ramp space over there, over there, and over there. Do you know where over there is? We didn’t either and kept getting vague responses (and nervous). Why can’t we just park on all that empty grass on this huge tract of land? Because it’s protected as a butterfly breeding area and the county has a ban on aircraft parking! I had a conversation with Kurt Selbert about this last night and he almost couldn’t believe this, except he lives in California.
Yesterday, Rico Cannone, our chapter & convention treasurer (based at Saratoga) met with the manager and got some great news. The grass area adjacent to his hangar is not owned by the county, & we can park about 14 planes there! Not only that, but they will permit tent camping under the wing in this grass area. The FBO (North American) has good facilities including showers that will be available. We are looking into portable toilets. The paved ramp adjacent to this area has plenty of room for tiedowns. You must bring your own rope!! If you want to park/tent on this grass area, it will be 1st come 1st served, unless you make a prior request for a grass spot through me: firstname.lastname@example.org or 914-337-2968. If you are parking on the grass you’ll need anchors & rope. On the pavement, only rope. We’ll have volunteers with handheld radios to direct parking. Wow, it’s almost July!! Hope to see you in Saratoga.