Notice!!! This could be our last Plane Crazy Saturday.
MTM’s Plane Crazy Saturday has been given a one month reprieve, and will be allowed to hold Plane Crazy Saturday on July 20, 2013 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Mojave Air and Space Port.
We have no idea what our fate will be after July, it is all up to the Mojave Air and Space Port Board of Directors and airport management. The airport board meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 16 at 2 p.m. and is open to the public. You are welcome to attend, or write a letter and show your support of this monthly event.
MTM’s only position is that we continue to hold PCS monthly without charge, and if that is not approved by the airport board, then Plane Crazy Saturday ends.
There has been a simmering dispute between the Mojave Transportation Museum, which runs Plane Crazy Saturday on a volunteer basis, and Spaceport General Manager/CEO Stu Witt. Witt wants the museum to pay a monthly fee to cover the cost of a security guard. The spaceport’s Board of Directors passed a measure requiring a fee, but it has suspended enforcement while the two parties try to work things out.
Museum officials say they can provide the security themselves and don’t feel they should be charged for volunteering their to put on an event that brings publicity to the airport and benefits the community.
If you want Plane Crazy Saturdays to continue, please attend the meeting if you can and urge the airport to waive the fee. The five members of the board are elected by the local citizens of Mojave and California City. They are there to represent your interests. They need to hear from you.
Full disclosure: I am on the board of the Mojave Transportation Museum. I’m also a local resident who has attended many Plane Crazy Saturdays. I have a space blog that covers Mojave. And I vote.
For all these reasons, I want to see Plane Crazy Saturday continue. It’s fun to see the aircraft and to listen to the speakers they have every month. I’ve had friends from out of town come out here, and they’ve been able to see the planes and get tours of different hangars. They’ve really enjoyed themselves, and they’ve gone back and spread the word about all the amazing things that are happening in Mojave.
Plane Crazy Saturday is one of the few regularly scheduled events in Mojave open to everyone. This is no small matter in an unincorporated town that lacks a government that would normally organize parades, picnics, and other activities. These monthly gatherings help create a sense of community in a town that sorely lacks it.
Plane Crazy Saturday is also one of the few ways that local residents can connect to spaceport and get to know the people who work there and the pioneering work they are doing. If they end, I fear that the airport will grow more distant and isolated from the community that it serves.
Plane Crazy Saturday is the type of event that the airport should be holding anyway. I know that companies like their privacy there. But, this is a public airport whose board is elected by local residents. The airport should do more outreach to the local community. The Mojave Transportation Museum is willing to perform that function at almost no cost to the airport. Why drive them out?
I sincerely hope that Plane Crazy Saturday will continue for years to come. Again, if you feel the same way, join us at the board meeting on Tuesday afternoon in the Administration Building. Let your voice be heard.