By: Gerald V. Padilla, President
It is quite an honor to be able to write a letter like this. This is a great section with stellar participants. Our section boasts both legal and aviation aficionados. Our membership is proof that the 2 are not mutually exclusive.
We are now more than half way through another year with the Aviation Law Section. A number of exciting things have occurred thus far. To this end we have endeavored to promote both a social agenda and to continue our tradition of giving public seminars, publishing the "Inner Marker", an updated professional web site and keeping the membership up to date on breaking aviation legal news through the e-mail. The section has already contributed its expertise to the 2003 Great Lakes International Aviation Conference in January of 2003. Two seminars are on track for May, 2003. The "Inner Marker" is a scholarly journal for the membership.
The Aviation Law Section has been extremely active. Activity centers around the seminars and the "Inner Marker". Another name for the "Inner Marker" could best be "Don Frank's" Inner Marker. Don has been absolutely relentless in putting together this journal. It is a task that often goes un-rewarded. I am sure the members recognize his contribution.
The Aviation Law Section was the recipient of an Award of Excellence from the Michigan Aeronautics Commission. The award was presented on September 11, 2002 in Sault St. Marie at the 50th Annual Fall Conference of the Michigan Association of Airport Executives. Eric Richards, former Chair for the Section and Donald C. Frank, Editor of the Section's Inner Marker publication accepted. This was quite a feather in the Section's cap to receive this recognition from the State of Michigan. Thanks to Messrs. Richards and Frank for traveling to accept this honor.
Next and probably more exciting, the Section's web site has finally taken off. Thanks to Ken Bobo, the Section Secretary, the website contains old copies of the Inner Marker, current meeting minutes and way point bulletins that go out on e-mail. Ken, the photographer that he is, has inserted photos also. Thanks, Ken.
Another bit of recognition should go to Cliff Maine, former Chair of the Section. Cliff's practice has a significant portion related to business and tax issues centering ob aviation, has published Way Point memos giving updates on Aviation related issues to the members of the State Bar. These Way Point bulletins are certainly good practice pointers. Thank you Cliff for taking that bull by the horns.
Another exciting event is the Section's participation in the 2003 Great Lakes International Aviation Conference that has been taking place for the last several years at Michigan State University, Kellogg Center in Lansing, Michigan. Eric Richards, again deserves kudos for organizing a stellar panel for discussions of aviation/legal related topics. The panel consisted of Mike McKinley from the FAA on enforcement issues, Don Frank, Esq. from the Aviation Law Section, Steve Chait from the Aviation Law Section and Eric Richards. Eric has expertise on the buying and selling of aircraft. A highlight of the talk was the "point/counterpoint" discussion between Messrs Mc Kinley and Chait over the FAA's "temporary flight restrictions" over sporting events. The talk was well attended. I was lucky enough, as Section Chair, to be able to introduce this group of "heavy weights" to a reasonably well attended crowd. Gentlemen, thank you.
On the horizon we have two spring seminars set. The first will be in Traverse City Airport (TVC) on Tuesday, May 13, 2003, in the M Tech Building, Room 222. A second is planned on Wednesday, May 14, 200,3 at Michigan Aviation, Pontiac Oakland Co. Airport (PTK) in Pontiac, Michigan. In recent years these have been held in various parts of the State. Attendance has historically exceeded over 250 attendees. Most are lay persons who want to keep up on legal issues regarding aircraft.
The seminars are an excellent opportunity for the Section to shine to the general public. The topics in the past have ranged from insurance issues, to enforcement related topics, to security questions in light of September 11, 2001, through the organization and representation of business entities in owning and leasing aircraft as well as tax related issues. Buying and selling of aircrafts and the check list for doing the same have been especially interesting.
The Section will be offering its assistance to our new Governor in the area of Aviation and Aeronautic related issues. This is due in no small part to the people that were previously mentioned in this article.
From a social standpoint the Section has not been sitting on its hands either. Our first social outing was at Owosso Airport (5D3) on October 27, 2002. Owosso is a small airport that is the home base for our Chair Person elect, Bob Hoschner. A good deal of the vitality of the airport is due to Bob and his cohorts there. On the forth Sunday of each month Owosso offers a pancake breakfast that is really an excuse for flying. The food is good but the flying is better.
On the drawing board for future outings is a trip to the Kalamazoo Air Zoo. Aviation Law Section Director Barry Smith who is also on the Board of Directors for the Air Zoo has offered to assist us in setting up a social outing there. The Air Zoo is expecting delivery of an SR-71 and has offered the section a VIP tour of this 21st century air ship. Look for e-mails in the future.
Thank you for allowing me to be your Chair. It is and will always be an honor.