AOPA’s Airport Playground will Create Generations of “Fans”

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ARTICLE: New aviation playground designed to spark interest in GA
AOPA Playground
Capturing the public’s attention and/or influencing popular opinion are time consuming efforts. The barrage of press releases and conferences are important, but their message can be lost in the battleground of influencers. These are all necessary initiatives, but their half-lives are not that long.

AOPA, always an interesting force in aviation, helped sponsor the above playground located at the New Bedford Regional Airport in Massachusetts. It started out as an idea of the association’s Airport Support Network volunteer Donald Velozo and was implemented by the Atlantic Aviators, a chapter of Women in Aviation International. Velozo said his own interest in aviation began when he frequented a playground at an airport and was reminded of that impact by the GA movie “One Six Right” where there was such a playground in the background.

The Atlantic Aviators raised the money through events and grants totaling $165,000. The opening day event was a big success and the enticing planes, slides and other attractions will likely bring kids and parents for fun times for years. This public relations action will subtly inveigle thousands of kids, moms, dads and grandparents to think positively about airplanes and airports.

NBAA had a similar program in which it built aviation themed parks at their conventions.

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