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Aviation day to replace air show at MidCoast
0802 Midcoast airport
MidCoast Regional Airport will host an Aviation Day on Oct. 3. The event is a follow-up to the Salute the troops air show last June. - photo by Courier file photo
Though under a new name, the annual air show at MidCoast Regional Airport is still a go and planners aim to draw as much local and regional interest as possible.
Aviation Day will be Oct. 3 this year, as a follow-up to the Salute the Troops air show last June that attracted hundreds.
They are still in the early planning stages, but the event will be free and will cater to all ages.
Plans are to have cabin doors open to anyone who wants a plane ride and have discovery flights as an introduction to a flight lesson.
“It’s not going to be an air show,” explained fixed base operations manager Mark Davidson “It’s going to be more like an open house so people can see the airport and how important it is for the community.”
The $5.5 million airport is a military joint-use facility at Wright Army Airfield.
With an average 400 civilian take-offs and landings a month, the nearly two-year old airport has steadily improved, Davidson said. But sights are set further, he said.
Marketing efforts have shifted to high gear, with a spread in Auto Pilot magazine and representation at the National Aircraft Business Association conference in Orlando.  
The airport’s target is recreational pilots, who make up some of the traffic flying up and down the East coast.
“We’re trying to get them to come in for a fuel stop,” Davidson said.
The Liberty County Development Authority targets the corporate aviation traffic, according to Davidson.
According to LCDA budget reports, the airport is expected to bring in almost $350,000, versus the $550,000 budgeted last fiscal year.
“There was probably a worst time to open up an airport than last year, but we actually saw an increase in fuel sales,” Davidson said. “It’s pretty remarkable.”
MidCoast now has 22 aircraft based in its 18 hangers.
On July 25, the airport was to host its quarterly fly-in, another marketing plan.
Coming as far as Gainesville, Fla., Davidson estimated 30 to 40 pilots would be at the event.
“Part of it is to generate interest in the airport,” Davidson said.
Besides a complimentary breakfast, the event usually includes a speaker and safety presentations.
Davidson describes the airport as a “gateway to the community.”
“We want to open our doors to show them what we’re all about,” he said.
MidCoast is eying to supply fuel for the military.
“We have the capability to do it but we don’t have the contracts,” Davidson said.
The airport is waiting for the military’s existing contract to end before it can bid for the work.
MidCoast Regional also has a flight school. For more information, call 877-4359.
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