AirplaneGeeks 312 – Managing a Privately Owned Airport

West Houston Airport

Running a privately owned/public use general aviation airport, flight instruction, FAA position on GA ride sharing, biometric technology at the airport, an airline passenger survey, the C-130, Exercise Black Pitch, and a HondaJet interview.


Shelly DeZevallos from West Houston Airport tells about running a general aviation airport. She grew up around the small, gravel strip airport where her father worked as a flight instructor. He bought the airport in the 1970’s, and now West Houston Airport is the family’s privately owned/public use airport with a dual taxiway, a 4000 foot runway. About 375 airplanes are based there.

Mike Camelin from SunState Aviation also joins in with Shelly to talk about flight training. The demand for pilots makes this a good time to get your license and we discuss paying for training, pacing the instruction, and what to look for in a flight school, such as maintenance of the aircraft, dedication of the flight instructors to your learning, and the professionalism of the entire staff, not just the CFIs.

The News

FAA Bans GA Ride Sharing Companies

Airpooler is a web-based system where private pilots with passenger space available on a planned flight, offer to take on passengers who only pay their pro-rata share of flight costs. The FAA has issued a legal interpretation against “peer-to-peer general aviation flight sharing.”

Biometric technology – the key enabler of a single passenger token and improved passenger tracking?

In early 2015 a biometric-based trial called “Happy Flow” could launch at Aruba Airport. A biometric scan at check-in would create a “passenger token” that would then be used at other checkpoints. No more boarding passes. This is a collaboration between Air France-KLM, the governments of Aruba and the Netherlands, and Aruba and Schiphol airports.

Survey: Nearly Two-thirds of Americans Do Not Have A Preferred Airline

The Street conducted a telephone survey with about 1,000 interviews, and 63% don’t have a preferred airline, while only 5% consider frequent flier miles important. What annoys Americans when traveling by airplane? 73% say high ticket prices.

HondaJet Interview

HondaJets in Formation

Rob Mark interviewed Andrew Broom, Division Director of Corporate Communications and marketing at HondaJet. Recorded at Airventure 2014.

David Vanderhoof’s Airplane of the Week

YC-130s formation

In Honour of the 60th anniversary of the aircraft that Kelly Johnson thought would, “destroy Lockheed,” David does a “Not a History Segment” on his all-time favorite aircraft: the Lockheed C-130 Hercules.

“The First Lady” resides peacefully at Eglin Air Force Base. Fulton Recovery System video.

The Australia News Desk

Operation Pitch Black

Grant’s back from a week in Cairns covering Exercise Pitch Black 2014 which brought together combat aircraft from Australia, Singapore, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States. Thanks to our contacts with the RAAF media department, Grant was airside at Darwin and Tindal RAAF bases getting photos and videos plus recording plenty of content for a future PCDU episode.

In amongst the many interviews Grant recorded, he spoke with Lt Col Scott Abogast, the detachment commander for the 12 US Air National Guard F16s.


American Association of Airport Executives

PaxEx Podcast Episode 16: Fierce Competition and Blind Recognition with Ryan Ghee, editor and event strategy manager at Future Travel Experience.


Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. Find his great music at