AOPA comes to town
October 13, 2012 | The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association held their annual Aviation Summit in Palm Springs this week.
The Summit kicked off on Wednesday with the Parade of Planes in which the conference attendees taxi their private aircraft on city streets from the airport to the convention center, where they park for everyone to admire. Around 70 of the 1000 planes expected for the conference actually make the parade to the convention center; the remainder are parked at the airport. (Watch the AOPA parade video here.)
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association loves to come to Palm Springs because it is the only place that lets them actually taxi their airplanes directly to the convention center. And Palm Springs loves to have the AOPA come here. The convention brings up to 15,000 people, making it the largest conference to come to Palm Springs. And by definition, people who own their own airplanes have money — just the kind of visitors we like! So what if they block our streets while they drive their planes around town.
This afternoon was the contra-parade in which the planes taxi back to the airport for take-off. I set up at the corner of Sunrise Way and Alejo Road where the planes have to make a turn for the final leg to the airport. There was an absolutely amazing collection of planes this year: sporty little two-seaters, several biplanes, a plane with pontoons for water landing, historic planes from the Palm Springs Air Museum, and up to sleek corporate-jet types and one behemoth whose wings spanned the entire 5-lane street with no room to spare.
Last updated on Apr 13, 2018