The Nelson Pilots Association (NPA), in association with COPA Flight 87 Nelson, took on the task of representing the General Aviation community in the fight to save the Nelson Municipal Airport. Over the last year they have spent thousands of volunteer hours both on the City Airport Lands Task Force and making presentations to countless civic and service groups and organizations.
They also wrote and professionally produced a video about the airport and authored a comprehensive report, including an economic impact assessment, to be used at every opportunity to educate the residents and City officials.
Unfortunately the City is still looking at the possibility of either selling the airport lands or otherwise developing it. So far, the City Task Force has made only one recommendation and that is to hire an outside consultant to evaluate all aspects and impacts of redeveloping the airport lands.
COPA Flight 87 and the NPA are committed to continue the fight to save this important general aviation airport and asked for COPA's help in the next phase which they believe will include attempted changes to the Official Community Plan, a City referendum, and finally a legal resolution.
Most of the costs associated with the promotional efforts have so far been met by individual donations and the NPA airport fund, however much more is needed, in particular to pay for the promotional video. At a recent COPA Board meeting, it was agreed that the cost of the promotional video is within the guidelines of COPA's Special Action Fund and so a $6,000 contribution will be made from the Fund. In particular, this excellent video will be useful at other airports to explain and promote their value to the community - availability of the video will be announced soon.
The Special Action Fund was established in 1978 with a goal of raising $1 million to provide financing "for the education of the general public, legislators and government departments and officials with respect to matters relating to general aviation and to promote, protect and advance the interest of general aviation..."
Through COPA member contributions, the Fund was topped off in 1996 and has since that time been financing several projects and legal defence actions from the interest raised on the principle. There has been no need to solicit further contributions so far.
The Economic Impact on Nelson Airport (MS Excel)
Nelson Airport Report (MS Word)