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EAA AirVenture Today is published by the Experimental Aircraft Association for EAA AirVenture from July 27 - August 3. It is distributed free on the convention grounds as well as other locations in Oshkosh and surrounding communities. Stories and photos are copyrighted 2008 by EAA AirVenture Today and EAA. Reproduction by any means is prohibited without written consent.


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The official daily newspaper of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh

Volume 9, Number 7 August 2, 2008     

Dominican Republic rolls out red carpet to GA

Michael Trim, Dominican Republic, takes the right seat in the EAA’s Ford Tri-Motor. In 1932, this very airplane was the presidential transport for the island nation, and then it became the first transport aircraft for the country’s national airline, Dominicana de Aviación. Trim is an airline pilot and member of a Dominican delegation to AirVenture.

The Dominican Republic (DR) has long been one of the Caribbean’s most popular tourist destinations, but for decades excessive and inconsistent aviation user fees and handling charges have discouraged private aircraft from venturing there. Now that is changing dramatically. A presidential decree signed in March 2008 eliminates all government fees and charges for any general aviation aircraft with a maximum landing weight up to 30,000 pounds or a maximum passenger capacity of 12 people. Dominican President Leonel Fernandez has further directed that "all representatives and agents of state, military, and civilian entities [will] render broad assistance and optimum service to general aviation aircraft and their occupants."

The DR recently approved its own regulations for amateur-built and light-sport aircraft, to ensure that all airworthy sport, light-sport, and experimental aircraft are "welcome" in its airspace.

The island nation has teamed up with Florida-based Caribbean Flying Adventures (Booth 4061, Exhibit Hangar D) to bring at least half a dozen guided fly-ins to the Dominican Republic in the next year. The first tour is scheduled for October 9-14, 2008, and Mike Trim, an airline pilot and technical consultant to the Dominican departments of tourism and state, says the October tour will be a four-stop red-carpet affair, with local tourism and cultural groups putting on special events for the tour participants.

Besides attracting aviation tourism, the Dominican Republic hopes to become the premier regional center for advanced training of air traffic controllers and pilots. And at the Barahona Airport, there are plans to create a heavy maintenance facility for airliners.

Just more than 600 air miles from Miami, the Dominican Republic is doing everything it can to woo private fliers to its beaches, golf courses, and resorts. Said Andres Van Der Horst, director of the Dominican Department of Airports, "It is in our national interest to move to a fee-free policy."

Visit the Dominican Republic’s booth (#5053) in Exhibit Hangar E, north of the old tower, near the Federal Pavilion and the Affordable Flying Center.

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