Air Care 2018 is in the Air!
Register to Attend Now!
Complete Schedule Below -
Includes Extra Day with
Special Sessions!!
   AIR CARE 2018 and
General Aviation Emergency
and Disaster Preparedness Summit
Thursday Evening, Friday, and Saturday April 19-21, 2019
at AOPA Headquarters, Frederick, Maryland
and the Hampton Inn Frederick, a Hilton Hotel
Hotel Discount Rate Deadline March 28, 5 PM Eastern
Conference Registration Deadline April 10
Hosted by AOPA, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
and the AOPA Foundation
at their beautiful new AOPA You Can Fly Academy
on the airport, FDK, Frederick, Maryland
AOPA logo
     Our annual Air Care conference will return to the  headquarters of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association this year!  AOPA is hosting us and we are once again planning many great sessions, speakers, and activities at AOPA's beautiful new AOPA You Can Fly Academy on the airport in Frederick, Maryland (FDK).
     Big news!  Because of the incredible GA relief response by so many volunteer pilots and their groups during 2017's disastrous hurricane and fire season we are adding a full day of panels and sessions on Friday to hold the first ever General Aviation Emergency and Disaster Preparedness Summit.
AOPA building
     We are inviting our Friday presenters and panelists to join our Members and other attendees in reviewing what all the groups have learned over past years' relief flights, and to report on this year's relief work and discuss how we can improve communication and inter group coordination and cooperation.  We are inviting representatives of federal and state agencies, associations, and NGO groups that we all work with to seek better mutual understanding of our roles and how we can work together better.
Public Benefit Flying Award recipients on stage NAA 2017 Fall Awards
Representatives of Public Benefit Flying Groups Receiving 2017 Awards
including Teamwork Award Recipients for 2017 Hurricane and Fire Relief Operations
National Aeronautic Association Fall Awards, November 29, 2017
     Each year the Air Care Alliance holds its AIR CARE national conference to bring together those most involved in volunteer based public benefit flying.  Attendees enjoy learning from, sharing knowledge with, and building relationships among their peers from across the country.
     Session and speaker topics vary widely! We cover current and upcoming regulatory issues affecting public benefit flying, safety recommendations and other best practices, liability and other legal subjects of concern, marketing, communications and media relations, mission coordination including online systems, organizational development and fundraising, emergency and disaster relief operations, hosting special events, membership growth and management systems, and much, much more. 
     Why attend?  You and your board and staff members will join other leaders and staff from many public benefit flying groups who believe that we all benefit from the goodwill and mutual support gained from working together and learning from one another. 
     BE THERE!  You and your public benefit flying group will gain so much by working together with all the rest of us!
     And - we have a LOT of fun doing it!
Here below is our full conference schedule plus hotel, travel, and conference registration information.  Read on!
Conference Schedule: (Subject to modifications)
Thursday evening, April 19, 6:00 - 9:00 PM: 
Informal Reception at the hotel:  those arriving Thursday may choose to join us for an informal reception featuring heavy hors d'oueveres and light meal options.  AOPA President Mark Baker will be our speaker.
Mark Baker
Friday, April 20: 
AIR CARE 2018 General Aviation Emergency and Disaster Preparedness Summit at AOPA HQ:
     Recommended reading prior to arriving: Teamwork Award Program Supplement containing 2017 hurricane and fire relief information provided by more than twenty volunteer pilot and other GA groups.
 7:45 - 8:00 AM - Travel to the AOPA You Can Fly Academy:  Attendees with cars will carpool others from the hotel lobby to AOPA HQ. Shuttles may be available. 
Empty Classroom
GUIDED TOURS OF AOPA!  On Friday AOPA staff will provide guided tours of the offices and facilities at scheduled times.  We will have sign up sheets available during registration.
 8:00 - Continental Breakfast, Meet and Greet, and Conference Registration
 9:00 - Welcome by AOPA President Mark Baker and Air Care Alliance leadership, Conference Overview, and Roundtable Introductions.
 9:40 - Brief Review of the history of General Aviation disaster responses.
10:00 - Panel Discussion - types of organizations with emergency preparedness programs: 
Representatives of several distinct categories of organizations will introduce their programs and answer questions.
10:45 - Coffee Break
11:00 - The 2017 Hurricanes and Fires - the GA Response: 
Group representatives will describe how their groups got involved in relief flights and what they were able to accomplish helping those in need.
12:00 PM - Buffet lunch and socializing
12:45 - What Worked and What Didn't:
Attendees will describe their most important successes and the most significant problems they faced in providing relief flights.  How did relations with other groups, aviation associations, agencies at all levels of government, and others help or hinder their operations?  We will develop a punchlist of factors for success and problems which need addressing.
 1:45- Panel Discussion - Those We Need to Work With: 
Representatives of State and Federal Agencies, Relief Organizations, and Major Aviation Groups will describe what they perceive as what they need most from GA relief flight support and what they found to be their biggest problems in interacting with the pilots and their groups. Q & A.  We will add items to the punchlist.
 2:45 - Afternoon break
 3:00 - Communications, Command, Control - or just let us get the job done?
Emergency alert systems; mission coordination systems used by groups; media relations including use of social media.  Amateur radio resources; cell phones and landlines; aircraft radio protocols and communications with ATC; proper call signs and ADSB-out transponder settings. 
 3:45 - Safety, Regulations, and Liability:  a short primer relating specifically to emergency and disaster response.  These subjects will be covered in more detail in the Saturday session.
 4:15 - Where do we go from here?  Suggested program for taking what we learned today and developing the resources and personpower to work with our partner aviation associations, governmental agencies, and NGOs to make our operations run better, solve the problems we identify, and vastly increase public and agency understanding of what the General Aviation community can do to provide important resources to aid in disaster and emergency recovery efforts.
 5:00 - Adjourn until morning and get ready for dinner!
 5:10 - Return to hotel(s):  Carpool drivers [ and possible shuttles ] take attendees from the front of AOPA HQ back to their hotel(s).
Friday Evening 6:00 PM: 
Gala AIR CARE dinner at the Hampton Inn Frederick, with special guest speaker/presentation.
6:00 pm - Before Dinner Cocktail Reception
7:00 - 9:00 - Gala Buffet Dinner and presentation.
Saturday, April 21:
AIR CARE 2018 National Public Benefit Flying Conference and Annual Meeting.
 7:45 - 8:15 AM - Travel to the AOPA You Can Fly Academy:  Attendees with cars will carpool others from the hotel lobby to AOPA HQ    [ possible shuttle arrangements TBD ]
 8:00 - Continental Breakfast, Meet and Greet, and more Conference Registration
 9:00 - Welcome by Tom Haines, AOPA's Senior Vice President, Media and Outreach, and Air Care Alliance leadership, Today's Overview, and additional Introductions.
 9:30 - ACA's Online Referral System and connections to your group:
    VPOIDS (Volunteer Pilot Organization Information Database System)
     a short review of what it is, how it works, and who is using it.
    How ACA's referral system will be redesigned to provide referral information directly into VPOIDS and other groups' flight coordination systems.
    Opportunities for VPO collaboration, information sharing, and enhancements.
    Systems used by other groups - why they prefer to "roll their own!"
    Group discussion and Q &A.
10:00 - Telling Your Story - How to Work with the Aviation Media: 
AOPA and other major aviation group leaders will describe
  1) the importance of letting the world, and especially the aviation world, know about your group, its volunteers and supporters, and the good work you do, and
  2) how to work in partenership with major aviation organizations and prepare materials that will be most useful to them in telling your story.  Know who they are, their objectives, and how they work.
10:45 - Coffee Break
11:00 - Panel - ACA and Industry Reps discuss Policy, Legislative, and Regulatory issues impacting VPOs:
        Topics may include any or all of these - and more:
        Class III medical reform and how it might affect VPOs
        Fuel Reimbusement and Legality of Groups' Operation of Aircraft
           including exemptions provided in the FARs (Fundraising and S & R flights, etc.)
        Volunteer pilot liability relief progress
        Pilots Bill of Rights updates
        NTSB recommendations, AOPA Online Safety Course
12:00 - Buffet lunch and socializing
12:45 - Breakouts - Our Annual Inspection:
Mission Coordination, Board Management, [ possible #3 TBD ]
    Breakout Session 1:  Strategic Guidance for Officers, Directors, and Leaders
         Management Tools to help in setting your group's direction
         Life goes on: transition and succession.  Choosing new leaders who buy into your group's values and culture.
         A few big considerations regarding state and IRS requirements.
    Breakout Session 2:  Mission Coordination Practices, Issues, Solutions
         Best practices
         Review of processes, requirements, etc… by each organization
         Opportunities for flight sharing, collaboration, and increased efficiency
    Breakout Session 3: [ Possible session TBD ? ]
 1:45 - Return to main room(s).
 2:00 - Panel - Safety of Operations and Recruitement Considerations:
Risks and rewards of involving general aviation pilots.  Recommendations to keep you and your organization from unnecessary risks.  Recommended or required: AOPA-ACA online course for volunteer pilots (and all operational staff) following ACA's negotiaion with the NTSB on safety recommendations.  
 3:00 - Afternoon Break
 3:15 - REPORT OUT - From each of the session leaders: The bottom line of what we learned and decided in the GA Emergency and Disaster Preparedness Summit and each of the Breakout Sessions.
 3:30 - Your Wish List:  Open discussion - member concerns, questions, and wish lists. Setting priorities for action by ACA and the Membership.
 4:00 - Air Care Alliance annual membership business meeting: reports, board news, and election of Directors.
 4:20 - Important upcoming events and accountements:  Opportunities to showcase your group.  Information regarding restaurant and carpool arrangements for informal dinners at one or more area restaurants.
 4:45 -Closing Remarks. 
 5:00 - Adjournment and return to hotels).
 6:30 Saturday Evening Dinner Celebrations at area Restaurants! 
Here are a few examples of sights and events attendees may wish to enjoy together or on their own, with links to great sources of information regarding large number of additional worthwhile destinations in the area and travel options into DC.  Washington DC is only a short distance away - easy access using the Metro from the Shady Grove station nearby.
Tours in Frederick, MD | Ghost, Walking, and Tasting Tours
Frederick, MD Things To Do, Dining, Events, Hotels & Travel Guide 
The 10 Best Things to Do in Frederick - 2018 (with Photos) - TripAdvisor
Don't forget DC!   DC has so many fabulous museums you could spend a half a year there!  Consider visiting the beautiful new one, the Newseum, which clebrates the rich history of the media in America and the importance of the First Amendment.  Our country was founded because of access to newspapers!
The Newseum in DC:
Official Tourism Site of Washington DC :
Register in three steps:  reserve your hotel room and then go to our form below for full instructions to register for AIR CARE 2018, including the registration form and instructions for payments.
Take advantage of our steeply discounted block room rate at the conference hotel well before the rate deadline of March 28 at 5:00 PM Eastern Time.  

Our hotel is the Hampton Inn Frederick, a Hilton hotel.  The special room rate is a highly discounted rate of $99.  The hotel rate includes a complementary full breakfast.

Our block includes a mixture of rooms with King beds or two Queens.  If you will need rooms with two Queens you will have better luck booking ASAP.  If you don't need two beds please request the rooms with King beds.

The online booking link is case sensitive - click here:

You may also book by phone by calling the hotel and indicating you wish to book a room in the Air Care Alliance block.  Its location and phone info is:

     5311 Buckeystown Pike, Frederick, Maryland, 21704, USA  

Note:  As a courtesy to others, if you make a reservation and then find later that you cannot attend, please contact us to coordinate the cancellation so we can return the room to the block or find someone to take over the reservation.

Air Carrier Airport Transportation: view these options for traveling to Frederick, Maryland:

Baltimore (BWI):   About 50 miles.  Inexpensive car rentals.  May be able to share a car with others arriving at the same time.  Several shuttle services.
BayRunner Shuttle Toll Free: 1-855-BAY-RUNR (1-855-229-7867)
Frederick Airport Connection (240) 422-4449
Airport Xpress 301-668-4000

Washington (DCA):    About 52 miles, 1 to 2 hours.  Car rentals available. May be able to share a car with others arriving at the same time.  Shuttle services - check airport for details.
Light rail Metro to Red line to Shady Grove and Uber, Lyft, or taxi to hotel, about 3 hours.

Dulles (IAD):    About 50 miles, 1 to 2 hours.  Car rentals available. May be able to share a car with others arriving at the same time.  Shuttle services - check airport for details.

General Aviation Airport: 
Frederick Maryland, FDK, home of AOPA:   This airport serves the area .  Signature Flight Support KFDK  301 662 8156. Call to make arrival reservations.  Hours of operation are  0700L - 2000L.  We may be able to arrange discounts.  check your airport guide for other options at FDK.


Please complete the PDF form below to register yourself and your group's other representatives for Air Care 2018 and the Preparedness Summit.
Read the form instructions carefully. You may type the information directly into the form while viewing it on your computer then save it. 

Book early but for sure before the hotel deadline of March 28 and our conference registration deadline of APRIL 10

IF NEEDED WE MAY BE ABLE TO TAKE LATE REGISTRATION BUT CAPACITY IS LIMITED.  We need this information as early as possible to order meals and provide for seating.  If we reach capacity we will have to deny attendance.

1) View the PDF form at the link below, type your information into it, be sure to save it to your pc, and send it back as shown below.  Or print the blank form and fill it out by hand and send it.

2) Additional attendees from your group my be listed on the form.  Please provide all email addresses in case conference information changes and notices must be sent out.

3) Again, the PDF form can be filled out using your computer, saved, and then emailed or faxed.



Be sure to save your completed form to your PC before sending or printing it!

Please email the PDF of the completed and saved form to

   OR fax the form to 815-572-9192.  Or mail it to:                  

  AIR CARE 2015 Registrar
  Linda Tangen, ACA Administrative Director
  1932 Gunnison Place NW
  Albuquerque, New Mexico  87120


Pay via Credit Card / PayPal or send your check payable to Air Care Alliance to the address above.
You may send Credit Card and payment information to PayPal using the button below.
First fill out the items below, then click on the Pay Now button.
Then on the PayPal page enter the correct payment amount in the Price per Item box and choose "Continue."
Pay with a PayPal account or for credit card payments click on the "Don't Have a PayPal Account" link


Choose Type of Payment
Enter Name of Group
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Thank you!  If you have additional questions please contact us at

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We very much look forward to seeing you at the Air Care 2018 Conference and General Aviation Emergency and Disaster Preparedness Summit!