In an effort to show the community its unique and useful resource, the Fayette County Airport and Fayette County Pilots and Friends (FCP&F) association will soon be holding an annual event.
The Fayette County Airport will hold the third-annual open house on Saturday, Aug. 22 beginning at 8 a.m. The day will begin with breakfast from 8 to 10 a.m. sold by Heritage Memorial Church. Lunch will begin at 11 a.m. and will continue until the event is over at 6 p.m. Money spent on food will support the church.
“I took over as airport manager three years ago and have really been trying to encourage interest in airplane and the aviation industry,” Jerry Van Dyke, airport manager and president of FCP&F, said. “Currently, it is being suggested by national organizations that there will be a shortage of pilots in the country as soon as 2020. That being said, the aviation industry is not struggling, but it is something that people are not too aware of, especially here in this county where there is such a nice airport that they can use.”
Other attractions will be available during the event on Aug. 22. Airplane and helicopter rides will be available for $20 per person, airplanes will be on display for patrons to see, antique tractors will be on display as well and a kids’ activity tent, bounce houses and more will help make the entire day a family affair. Additionally, Van Dyke is encouraging local mechanics who own a classic vehicle they have put time and effort into restoring, repairing or finding, to bring it to be viewed by patrons at the event.
“This event is free to the community and we really encourage everyone to come see what we have here in the county in terms of airplanes and aviation,” Van Dyke said. “I think that this is just a different type of event in the county and if we could get more people out to enjoy this amazing resource it would be great. Also anyone interested in joining the Pilots association can at anytime during the year. Our next meeting is August 13 and they are open to the public. There is a $20 annual fee to join the association, and not just pilots can join. Anyone interested in aviation is invited to join.”
The Fayette County Airport has 25 planes based at its location on State Route 38 and many jets fly from the runway on a regular basis. Van Dyke said he wants the airport to be utilized by the community. Whether for something as small as a picnic, or as large as the Toast to Summer, the airport is a public resource and is open to be used.
“We are very proud of our airport out here and are so grateful to have such a nice facility with a new building where our main office is and plenty of room,” Van Dyke said. “Aviation and other vendors are invited to contact us if they want to try and bring goods out to the next event and any questions can be directed to our office at (740) 335-2430.”