Big Changes for Flying Aviation Expo

Expo will feature aviation village and demo flights from host site Palm Springs International Airport.

Palm Springs Airport Flying Aviation Expo
Flying Aviation Expo will be held this year at the Palm Springs International Airport.Alamy

Palm Springs has always been known more for its abundant sunshine and palm trees than as an aviation mecca. But that perception is changing. Apart from being a world-class fly-in vacation destination with a great airport close to the resorts, restaurants and shops downtown, the city is also home to Flying Aviation Expo, now in its third year and bigger and better than ever thanks to a change of venue that, frankly, is a pretty big deal for us.

The aviation-friendly city of Palm Springs and the Palm Springs International Airport have graciously permitted us to relocate the show from the convention center to the airport, a change that will allow you to land, taxi to the designated parking area and step right onto the show site. Hosting Aviation Expo at the airport will also let you easily arrange demo flights in any of the dozens of models that will be there — something that wasn't possible when we parked airplanes outside the convention center.

The biggest change, and the one we’re most excited about, is the aviation village we’re creating for the show with our friend and Expo partner, Scheyden. At the heart of it all will be Signature Flight Support’s 30,000-square-foot climate-controlled hangar, where we’ll house the majority of Expo exhibitor booths. Outside, you can stroll the flight line and climb aboard the piston, turboprop and light-jet models of your dreams. More aviation exhibits will be housed in other nearby hangars. We’ll also be serving up great food, and for fun you can relax in the Oasis lounge we’ll be building for the show or head over to a special viewing area to watch airplanes take off and land.

The show kicks off on Thursday, October 20, and runs through Saturday, October 22. Friday night we’ll serve up drinks and apps poolside at the Palm Springs Hilton, and then we’ll close the show in style on Saturday night with an epic party sponsored by One Aviation inside the Palm Springs Air Museum featuring great live music with historic warbirds as the backdrop.

From start to finish, we’ll host a packed schedule of educational seminars and tech talks covering everything from how to make better takeoffs and landings to getting the most bang for your buck out of a panel upgrade to chalk talks with real fighter pilots. John and Martha King will be on hand with a fun and enlightening keynote talk, and you’ll also hear from the NTSB’s Earl Wheener, who will discuss the most pressing safety issues we pilots face. We’ve also got a few surprise guests lined up.

I look forward to seeing you all in Palm Springs in October. If you live anywhere west of the Mississippi, you should absolutely consider attending. Heck, even if you live on the East Coast this is a perfect opportunity for an aviation-themed getaway. For more information and to register, visit aviation-xpo.com.