VAEAA Announces Move To Suffolk Executive Airport In 2008
March 13, 2007 — The Virginia Council of EAA Chapters, Inc., announced it has relocated the Virginia EAA Regional Fly-In from Dinwiddie County Airport (PTB) to Suffolk Executive Airport (SFQ), beginning with the 2008 event. The fly-in was also moved from its traditional October date to Father?s Day weekend 2008, June 14-15.
Unfortunately, the council was also forced to cancel this year?s 11th annual fly-in, scheduled for October 7-8, due to severe scheduling constraints caused by a national auto-racing event at nearby Virginia Motorsports Park that same weekend. As VAEAA has largely outgrown the Dinwiddie County facilities in recent years, fly-in officials seized upon the window of opportunity to make a change.
Suffolk Executive officials have been courting the VAEAA Fly-In to relocate there for several years. The airport offers two runways (5,000 feet and 3,700 feet), is located less than four miles from downtown Suffolk, and is within a 45-minute drive for over one million people, the second largest population concentration in Virginia. That includes the cities of Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth and Chesapeake, which comprise the greater Hampton Roads area east of the airport. The area is also home of the Atlantic Fleet as well as Oceana Naval Air Station and Langley Air Force Base.
?The facilities and airport layout at Suffolk Executive Airport will ensure that the fly-in continues as an important regional event for pilots and aviation enthusiasts, and will allow for significant growth during the event's second decade,? said Gordon Campbell, council president.
Fly-In Manager Judy Sparks expressed appreciation to their home over the past decade, but said the time was right for the move. ?Dinwiddie County Airport was a gracious host over the past 10 years, but the success of the event has forced us to find a new venue,? she said.
SFQ officials are delighted to be hosting the state?s largest general aviation event beginning next year.
?On behalf of the City of Suffolk, the Suffolk Executive Airport, and the Airport Commission, I wish to express our excitement at our being chosen as the new location for the Virginia Regional EAA Fly-In,? said Evelyn Jones, current member and previous chairman of the Suffolk Airport Commission. ?We have a location in which this premier event can grow and have a population which will support it.?
Airport Manager Kent Marshall pledged full support from his staff to help make the fly-in ?a premier event on the East Coast.? This fall the airport begins a four-year facilities expansion and upgrade, including improving the main runway, adding a full-length parallel taxiway, and improvement and addition of other taxiways.
Vendors who wish to participate in the 2008 event should contact the Judy Sparks at 703-590-9112. Volunteers are especially invited to contact Judy Pastusek, volunteer coordinator, at 703-271-8008. For more information visit The VAEAA Website.