Jan. 13, 2013

The Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority (RTAA) – operator of Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) and Reno-Stead Airport (RTS) – is making plans for the future by placing significant emphasis on serving the general aviation (GA) community at RNO.

New RTAA CEO Marily Mora is championing the effort – called “A New Approach” – which is part of the recently released five-year strategic plan.

“We went from virtually no relationship with RTAA to them asking, ‘How can we help you?’” said Bob Meurer, president of the Reno-Tahoe Aviation Group (RTAG), an organization that includes pilots, based businesses and other members of the local business aviation community. “It’s a 180-degree turn from our previous relationship, and we’re tickled pink about it.”

Meurer said that some repairs, such as ramp repairs, have already been made, with other infrastructure upgrades in the works.

Review the strategic plan. (PDF)

Stacy Howard, NBAA’s western regional representative, attended the unveiling of RTAA’s new comprehensive plan in December, and is encouraged by the airport authority’s new focus on GA.

“We are very pleased that RTAA’s new plan recognizes the economic and social benefits that RNO’s general aviation community brings to the airport and the region,” said Howard, who noted that optimization of general aviation operations and services is now among RTAA’s top five priorities.

“We recognize that all of aviation begins with general aviation,” said Brian Kulpin, vice president of marketing and public relations for RNO. “General aviation is vital to Reno-Tahoe, and it has not been fostered or advanced for a long time. We are determined to improve that and roll out the welcome mat.”

RTAA has introduced a new GA customer relations and marketing program for RNO that takes into account recommendations from RTAG and the user community, according to Kulpin. The airport authority will be helping Atlantic Aviation – the sole FBO on the airport – with a hangar-marketing program, and future GA expansion will be encouraged.

RTAA will be introducing a dedicated page for general aviation, which includes business aviation, on its RNO website, and hopes to partner with the GA community in holding open houses for the community and other special events. RTAA has even joined RTAG and regularly attends its meetings – a first, according to Meurer.

“We are excited because it’s really a new day for general aviation on the field,” said Kulpin. “We want to be a focal point for general aviation in the Reno region.”