Greater Hartford CVB President Anticipates AOPA event


The Airport News was able to catch up with the very busy President of the Greater Hartford Convention and Visitors Bureau, Michael Van Parys, for a few minutes prior to the September 22d start of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Summit.

This is the second time the AOPA leaders have brought their to Hartford, the first time being in 2007, and will be one of the Center’s largest events this year according to Mr. Van Parys. This is the largest event also for the 72 year old organization; The AOPA Aviation Summit is aviation’s premier trade show and convention, with dozens of aircraft on display at Airportfest, more than 400 exhibitor booths occupying the center exhibit hall, and more than 60 hours of seminars offered over the course of three days.

Mr. Van Parys is very optimistic for a repeat stellar performance, likely matching the 10,000 attendees that came in ’07. “We anticipate good room night numbers” he explained, “ and we also will be able to utilize local man power, providing about 60 short term jobs” to help work the event. In addition, the Center has contracted with local transport companies to offer shuttle service to and from the events at the CT Convention Center, the “Airportfest” located at Hartford Brainard Airport, area hotels, and also the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, CT as well as Bradley International. Hartford Brainard is the primary airport for the event, but Bradley International’s FBOs expect traffic as well from larger aircraft and customers that are based there.

Mr. Van Parys also complimented The CT Department of Transportation Aviation Department’s Steve Korta, who won a “Bring it Home to Hartford Award” for his efforts behind the 2007 event. “He has been golden,” according to Mr. Van Parys, “he takes time toexplain things and has been amazingly supportive.”

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