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Local Group Achieves Victory for Grassroots Aviation

September 3, 2015- After years of work to stimulate growth at Arcadia Municipal Airport (X06), the Florida-based non-profit organization Friends of Arcadia Airport, Inc. has succeeded in establishing a permanent location for local grassroots aviation activities. Thanks to its hard work, X06 is now a destination for fly-ins, camping, pancake breakfasts, and many other social activities that will serve to bring the local aviation community together.

Knowing the contract that gave X06’s FBO exclusive operating rights was about to expire, a group of local pilots came together to find solutions for making the airport a destination for aviation enthusiasts throughout the region. A few years ago, the City of Arcadia formed an airport advisory committee, but well-established voices of opposition at the airport prevented them from making substantive changes to how the airport was run. Refusing to give up, the group established Friends of Arcadia Airport, “Friends” for short, to advance their cause.

Despite a lack of support from on-airport management, Friends managed to obtain permission to hold monthly pancake breakfasts on the airport. These breakfasts brought in pilots from around the state, expanding their support and establishing their reputation as an organization dedicated to grassroots aviation. Friends even hosted a Recreational Aviation Foundation-supported fly-in, motivating the group to establish a permanent base for such events. The group also contacted EAA for assistance, with our advocacy team offering ideas, contacts, and support for the efforts.

Months of work followed to obtain approval from the local health, fire, and building departments.  Friends submitted a formal application on Form 7460-1 to the FAA Airports district office and received a final determination in March 2015 for the facility. The group also tirelessly worked during this period to enter into a formal agreement with the City of Arcadia. Friends obtained its final contract approvals in August and will construct modest facilities to support under-wing camping at X06.

Friends of Arcadia Airport’s accomplishments serve as an example to aviation enthusiasts around the country who want to affect positive change at their local airports. You may contact Friends at: or visit its website at

Friends of Arcadia Airport Board of Directors

George Chase

Rickey Hilton

Ross Clark

Dave Hutchinson

Bob Miller

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