Now that the numbers are in, it is without a doubt that the Prescott Municipal Airport (KPRC) is a leading destination for pilots and events. On October 01, 2016, the Prescott Airport hosted the AOPA-Prescott Airport FLY-IN, and it turned out to be a record-setter according to Chris Eads, Director of Outreach and Events for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.
"It was the largest event we have ever conducted anywhere in the United States....it blew some records out of the water for us. We had close to 6,300 folks in attendance as best as we can estimate, about 565 aircraft flew in which is really a significant number for us, along with 2,000 automobiles. This is the third year we've been doing this and by far this is the largest turnout," said Chris Eads, AOPA.
World's Largest Aviation Organization
To provide some insight on the the significance of Eads' statement, the AOPA is the world's largest aviation association which primarily represents general aviation pilots. These are pilots who fly for recreation and business. The AOPA has over 400,000 dues paying members and was established in 1939. Yearly, the AOPA holds four regional fly-ins around the country and October's fly-in at the Prescott Airport was the AOPA's 16th fly-in in the last 3 years - at it was the AOPA's largest turnout, ever.
ERAU's Importance to the Region
There are a number of factors involved which can be attributed to the success of the event. Most importantly is the presence of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and its flight line located right on the Prescott Airport. This year's fly-in was conducted in partnership with ERAU's homecoming celebration, which typically brings in approximately 1,000 ERAU alumni and families to the mile high airport. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is celebrated as the world's premier aeronautical university and has the:
- First and only undergraduate Space Physics program in the nation
- First College of Security and Intelligence program in the nation
- First Commercial Space Operations program in the nation
- First Unmanned and Autonomous Systems Engineering program in the nation
Why the Prescott Airport is Preferred - Education, Location, Connections, Airpark
Clearly, the Prescott Airport has an overwhelming advantage over other airports because of the presence of ERAU and the gravity of its reputation and academics. ERAU's presence also offers local business and light manufacturers ideal candidates from a pool of aviation and engineering graduates - a highly educated and skilled workforce. Moreover, the location of the Prescott Airport is a dream for pilots who fly for fun and business. Easy to get in and out of, KPRC is home to some of the nation's best weather and most idyllic flying that aviation has to offer with Sedona, Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon just minutes away. In a Cessna, you can get to Phoenix in 40 minutes and Los Angeles in 2 hours. The commercial airpark located adjacent the Prescott Airport is home to some of the region’s leading businesses and has commercial space readily available for incoming organizations. Finally, you can also fly commercially in and out of Prescott with Great Lakes Aviation, which now offers 4 roundtrip flight daily to LAX as well as flights to Phoenix and Denver.
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