Three Exceptional Aviation Events/Messages

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Good Aviation News

Aviation is frequently the subject of bad news. Here are three instances where good things are being said and/or done.

  • One celebrates General Aviation at Battle Creek Airport
  • One is an exercise of basic aviation safety at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, and
  • One is a great message of “resurrection” at United Airlines


1. September 16-17, Battle Creek, Michigan (BTL)September 16-17, Battle Creek, Michigan (BTL): Michigan aviation mecca

aviation message

With historic Waco biplanes and high-end business jets, a nearby aviation museum that rivals the Udvar-Hazy Center, and an innovative aviation college, W.K. Kellogg Airport in Battle Creek, Michigan, is an aviator’s dream. Join us for AOPA’s third 2016 fly-in.

aviation message“We have a unique and diverse tenant base that serves the general aviation community,” said Larry Bowron, director of transportation for the city of Battle Creek and manager of the W.K. Kellogg Airport. “Visitors are going to see things here that you can’t see anywhere else.”

Event schedule

Friday, September 16
6:30 to 9:30 p.m.­—Barnstormers Party presented by Jeppesen

Saturday, September 17
7:30 to 10:30 a.m.­—Rusty Pilots breakfast and seminar, You Can Fly Pavilion
8 to 9:30 a.m.­—Pancake breakfast, Main Stage
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.­—Exhibits and aircraft display open
9:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.—Seminars
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.—Lunch
2:35 to 3:30 p.m.—Pilot Town Hall with AOPA President Mark Baker, Main Stage
3:30 to 4 p.m.—Ice cream social
4 p.m.—Fly-In concludes


2. Hartsfield-Jackson Hosts 14th Annual Runway “FOD” Walk

Hundreds of airport employees expected to attend and clear runway of debris

aviation message

ATLANTA – Hundreds of employees will wake up early to walk and clear debris from Hartsfield-Jackson’s 8L/26R runway on Wednesday morning. The 14th Annual Foreign Object Debris (FOD) Walk is expected to attract more than 200 Airport volunteers. FOD inspections take place numerous times every day at Hartsfield-Jackson to keep runways clear of debris which could cause serious damage to aircraft. Once a year, Airport volunteers walk the 9,000 foot runway and complement daily inspections. Airport officials will close Runway 8L/26R and the north cargo ramp for about 30 minutes to enable employees to search for and remove FOD.


Department of Aviation and airline employees


FOD Walk along Runway 8L/26R Opportunity for video of hundreds of volunteers walking runway and clearing debris


Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 6:00 a.m. (doors open / event starts)


3. Duty to Care

aviation message

Aug 26, 2016

Last October – just three days before a heart attack and subsequent heart transplant sidelined me from my full-time role at United – I shared with all of you here the passion I was seeing emerge across our airline.

Since returning to my full-time role this spring, everywhere I go – and I mean everywhere – from our airports to our planes, from our hangars to our support centers – I am feeling that passion and excitement come to life in ways far beyond what I ever imagined.

The care, the warmth, and the drive I am seeing to restore United as the world’s greatest and most resilient airline is what I am calling the New Spirit of United.  And for those of you who fly us, I sincerely hope that you are starting to feel better cared for.

Like many of you reading this post, I experienced early on the life-changing impact that a simple act of caring can have.

I grew up in a modest blue collar home in Southern California. My dad earned a living as a meat cutter while my mom stayed at home, working hard to care for me and my eight younger siblings.  Despite the love and laughter that filled our home, preparing for college was never a topic of conversation.  My parents didn’t go to college and it certainly wasn’t the first thing my friends and I were thinking about in high school.

Thankfully, there was someone thinking about my future for me – my high-school college adviser.  She went out of her way to take an interest in me and my future.

Without her, my life would certainly have taken an altogether more probable path than the extraordinary one it did.

Thanks to her encouragement and guidance, I was well on my way to applying to the kinds of universities I never dreamed of attending before.  I ultimately became the first member of my family to go to college, all because of her.

Many years later, when I heard the sad news that she had passed away, I contacted several of my high school friends on whom I knew she had made a similar impact. We decided to attend her service as a way of returning a small measure of the care she showed us.

Naturally, we assumed we’d be the only former students who had the inclination or means to show up.  When we arrived, we found dozens of our fellow alumni who had made the trip – some from far away – to say thank you to the woman whose simple act of caring had made a crucial difference in their lives.

Looking around at the gathering of well-wishers that day, I wondered how many small acts of kindness, how many extraordinary gestures of caring for another young person’s future, had emanated from our brief contact with her.

Such are the ripples that a single act of caring can send forth into the world.

At United Airlines, every year we serve more than 140 million passengers around the globe, around the clock, every day. That’s 140 million stories – of a young professional whose career depends on making that last flight out today; of friends who need to get to that wedding on time; of a parent who can’t miss tucking in their children. Every passenger matters.  Each flight counts. That is a profound responsibility that we take seriously.

To be honest, too often in the past, a discourteous comment, a missed connection, or an unhelpful service experience left customers – not to mention many of our own employees – with a negative feeling towards United.  My task is to turn that around, and it starts with instilling a culture of caring and trust at every level.

We know we have more work to do.  But, as you travel with us, I hope you are seeing the countless inspiring stories of colleagues going the extra mile to take care of our customers and one another; of world-class professionals across the system who at this very moment are putting in long hours and late nights to make sure passengers get back to their families safe and on time; and of the entire United family working as one team to deliver on our potential to be the best airline in the world.

Guided by this sense of shared purpose, I truly believe United is now ready to take-off as a company, with record on-time rates and customer satisfaction at an all-time high. But, the true measure we take pride in is the sense of care that you feel, especially when things don’t go according to plan.

I cannot promise that the skies will always be clear; only that they will always be friendly.  Because we know how far a small act of caring can go.

Who knows? It may even change the direction of a young, rudderless high school student.

oscar munoz




Oscar Munoz
President and Chief Executive Officer, United Airlines

Oscar Munoz is president and chief executive officer of United Airlines. He brings to this position deep and broad experience in both the transportation industry and large consumer brands.

Previously, Oscar served as president and chief operating officer of CSX Corporation, a premier freight transportation company. He also served as a director at CSX. During his tenure, CSX transformed itself into an industry leader in customer focus, reliability and financial performance. CSX was named one of Institutional Investor’s Most Honored Companies for a decade of excellent financial performance, including increasing its operating income by nearly 600%.

Additionally, Oscar served in various financial and strategic capacities at some of the world’s most recognized consumer brands, including AT&T, Coca-Cola Enterprises, and PepsiCo. Before joining CSX, Oscar held the position of chief financial officer and vice president of consumer services at AT&T Corporation. Prior to joining AT&T, he served as senior vice president of finance and administration for U.S. West, regional vice president of finance and administration for Coca-Cola Enterprises and held various financial positions at PepsiCo.

Oscar has served on the board of directors for United Continental Holdings, Inc. since 2010 and served on the board of directors of Continental Airlines, Inc. since 2004. He is active in several industry coalitions and philanthropic and educational organizations including the University of North Florida’s Board of Trustees and the PAFA advisory board of Vanderbilt University.

Oscar graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.S. in business administration, and he received an MBA from Pepperdine University. He has been named one of the “100 Most Influential Hispanics” by Hispanic Business magazine. He is married and has four children.

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