City of Casa Grande officials are inviting all pilots to meet with them next Wednesday, Sept. 10, at 10 a.m. local, to discuss efforts by an out-of-state company to use the airport as a parachute landing zone.

The city has denied the request, but Phoenix Area Skydiving, which appears to be owned by a Michigan company, has appealed to the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA, in an advisory circular, as will as in regulations, considers skydiving an “aeronautical activity” that airports receiving federal funds must support. (More information here: http://aftw.org/more-skydiving-operations-proposed-for-cgz/)

Airport officials say they must produce overwhelming evidence that having parachutists land at CGZ, which is used heavily for flight training and transient operations, would be a safety hazard.

The meeting will be at Quantum Helicopters’ Office, 2401 S. Helicopter Way, Chandler, AZ 85286. (Map of location: http://www.quantumhelicopters.com/contact_us.asp)

Fly-ins are welcome, said Airport Director Richard Wilkie. Pilots may park at the Helicopter Transient Ramp, which just outside the meeting location.

“This is such an important issue that I just want to make sure that we are able to present the strongest argument possible to obtain a favorable ruling from the FAA,” Wilkie said in an email to pilots, flight instructors and Designated Pilot Examiners following the issue.

Wilkie is asking pilots who plan on attending next Wednesday to call him by Monday, so that he can make sure there is space available for everyone. Wilkie can be reached at his office at 520-421-8636.

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