Serving Midwest Aviation Since 1960

September 11 Remains An Important Date In Aviation History

Time seems to fly by (pun intended), as I get older. I remember my dad telling me, when he was in his 70's, "Randy, when you hit 60 time goes by very quickly."

He was right about this and many other things, of course, but his advice helps remind me how precious time is. Some events in my lifetime are prominent in my mind, but few things are as prominent as September 11, 2001...9/11.

I am sure that by the time you read this the 20th anniversary of 9/11 will have been recognized, reconfirming the tragedies that happened which have had pronounced repercussions on our lives.

Repercussions that impact, to this day, our lives. Many of us who are old enough to recall that attack on our country have vowed to "Never Forget."

It is not difficult to see the ramifications of 9/11. Travel by air via airlines has become much more difficult. Long lines going through security checkpoints and metal detectors, even having to submit to body searches, have become the norm. While I "get it" I think it important to reflect on how this has impacted us getting youngsters exposed to aviation.

Recently I flew my Super Cub to the Airlake (KLVN) airport to have a cookout with wonderful friends and fellow aviators. It was the very first time I have flown into that airport.

The hangar at which we gathered was near the edge of the airport and the owner of the hangar asked me to look to the perimeter of the airport and note that there is no fence around the airport. I did so and it was quite refreshing to be aware of this, and to contrast this with what I see at virtually every airport I have flown into and out of over the last 20 years.

Personally, I feel that we have gone way overboard on airport security at our smaller airports. I seriously question how effective these are in keeping "the bad guys" out of our airports, just as putting deadbolt locks on our homes may make it a bit more difficult for a bad guy to gain entrance, but if they are determined to get in they will get in.

These airport fences have not served us well in that they make it much more difficult, for example, for parents to bring their kids to the airport, as my parents did with me. There are few things less welcoming than a fence. As a member of the Minnesota Pilots Association I know that we need to do all we can to promote kids out to touch, sit in and fly in our airplanes. It is critically important.

While we are not likely to get these fences taken down, it may be important to make sure that the "gates," or segways, to our airports are wide open. Please take a moment to reflect on how we can take these barriers down. Thank you!


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