Representatives of the six soaring organizations that formed the Virginia Soaring Association earlier this year met December 11 with Virginia Department of Aviation Director Randy Burdette in Richmond to discuss how the VADOA could be a resource to the organization.
The Virginia Soaring Association (VASA), was created in the spring of 2010 to provide a more unified voice for promotion of the sport of soaring, to address regulatory and governmental issues the clubs have in common, and to increase cooperative efforts among the clubs.
The six organizing member organizations of VASA are all chapters of the Soaring Society of America (SSA) and represent almost 450 glider pilots carrying out nearly 20,000 flight operations a year. Also, foundations associated with three of the soaring clubs have been added as members of VASA.
Jim Kellett, of Skyline Soaring in Front Royal was named the coordinator of the association at the April 2010 organizational meeting in Charlottesville. Kellett is the outgoing SSA Region 4 director.
The association plans to produce a brochure promoting soaring in Virginia to the general pilot population and the general public listing information about the operations and locations of Virginia soaring clubs. A VASA website is under construction at VAsoaring.org. The association will work with the Virginia Department of Aviation to identify upcoming aviation events and coordinate static and flight demonstrations by member clubs. The Virginia Soaring Association will take an active role in educating lawmakers on issues important to the soaring community in the Commonwealth and will work with the Virginia Airport Owners Association to keep soaring sites viable and open.
The member soaring organizations of VASA are Blue Ridge Soaring Society, New Castle, VA; Merlin Soaring Association, Amelia, VA; Shenandoah Valley Soaring, Inc., Waynesboro, VA; Skyline Soaring, Inc., Front Royal, VA; Springwood Soaring Association, Inc., Buchanan, VA; and Tidewater Soaring Society, Windsor, VA.