See you at GMAG
February 1, 2019
One of the things I really enjoy about those who share my interest in aviation is the ingenuity, kindness and willingness to be of assistance that the vast majority possess. These great attributes certainly apply to those who have made it possible for us to hold the 6th Annual Great Minnesota Aviation Gathering (GMAG) at the Buffalo Municipal Airport (KCFE) on Friday and Saturday, April 26 & 27, 2019.
You may recall that we have been in search of a venue which would appeal to our members. With this in mind we sent out a survey to ask which of several venues would be most appealing. In selecting these potential venues we had several things to consider.
First, we wanted to have the event on an airport, to permit pilots to y in. We have had the rst ve GMAGs at the Anoka County-Blaine Airport (KANE), a beautiful towered airport that is within the MSP Class B airspace, and while weather often made it dif cult for pilots to y in, many did. It is a fact, however, that more may have attended were the airport outside the Class B, and a non- towered location may further entice pilots to y in. Buffalo Municipal ts the bill, and we feel it will be a great place for pilots to access our GMAG.
Second, we needed a venue that permitted easy access. The survey demonstrated that this was important to our members, and a signi cant percentage felt that having to park off-
site, and to be transported from parking to the venue, would be a signi cant deterrent. Buffalo Municipal ts that accessibility pro le nicely.
Third, we needed a venue that ideally provided “indoor” seating for our Hangar Flying sessions and for our exhibitors. We have fought the good ght in previous GMAGs by renting large tents for that purpose, and have struggled with winds, noise and pretty darned chilly temperatures. Buffalo Municipal, thanks to the benevolence of Mike Wiskus and the pilots of KCFE, came roaring through with several heated hangars for our use.
Fourth, we have been concerned from day one with the struggle to not be thought of as the “Twin Cities” Pilot Association. Like it or not, the majority of pilots, and the majority of those who have attended GMAGs, are from the Twin Cities. We have considered moving the venue around the state, as they do with the Montana Aviation Conference (which we have used as a template for many aspects of our event and organization) and North Dakota, but Minnesota is quite different from those in that we have one major population center. We remain convinced that attendance will be signi cantly decreased if we move around to places like Duluth, St. Cloud, Bemidji, etc, and this would make it less attractive for exhibitors. Buffalo Municipal is not in the Twin Cities, is outside the MSP Class B veil and, again, ts the bill.
We are looking forward to the challenges that a new venue presents, but remain con dent that we can make this a wonderful event once again. I hope we will see you in Buffalo at the 2019 GMAG!