Palo Alto 'Airport Day' to be held Saturday

Palo Alto Airport Association offers open house for community outreach

The Palo Alto Airport Association is holding its biennial Airport Day event this Saturday, Sept. 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the airport on Embarcadero Road. Admission is free.

Airport Day will feature extensive displays of various aircraft, from World War II historical models to modern experimental planes. Free airplane rides will be offered to kids ages 8 to 17. Participating organizations include emergency-flight groups Stanford Life Flight and Angel Flight, which fly critically ill or injured patients to hospitals.

Local police and fire departments will also have equipment on display.

The nearby Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve will offer an exhibit on natural history (including live birds of prey, in conjunction with the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo).

Palo Alto Airport Association President Ralph Britton said the event has been held every other year since 2003. Although an Airport Day was held in 2009, the association is hosting one again this year to publicize the facility in light of its impending switch from county to city ownership.

"The event is really an open house, to showcase the airport to the community and let them see what function it has," Britton said. "We're a regional airport, so this lets local communities, not just Palo Alto, see our airport."

Britton said the date of this year's event, Sept. 11, is a coincidence.

"We started planning six months ago, and we always want to have the day on a Saturday in September," he said. "It doesn't have much to do with 9/11, although there will probably be a commemorative ceremony there."

For more information on Airport Day, visit

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.


Like this comment
Posted by K
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 9, 2010 at 11:30 am

Buzz East Palo Alto Day! cool!

Like this comment
Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 9, 2010 at 12:35 pm

Wear your hard hard and swim suit.

Like this comment
Posted by Jerry
a resident of Southgate
on Sep 9, 2010 at 1:54 pm

PAO is cool! I love to go out there and watch the planes land. I know some people don't like it, but it is real ammenity to our city.

Like this comment
Posted by jardins
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 9, 2010 at 9:54 pm

So it's a done deal--the city of Palo Alto is going to own the airport? At what $$$ cost, may I ask?

Yet another status symbol that costs a lot and does very little for P.A. residents.

Like this comment
Posted by eaa62
a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2010 at 11:26 pm

The free airplane rides for kids are provided by volunteer pilots of the San Jose Chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association under the Young Eagles program (Web Link).

Like this comment
Posted by Enrique I. Moreno
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 10, 2010 at 4:54 am

I strongly object to offering free air rides to kids. Small airplains are fundamentally unsafe; many things can and do go wrong with small airplaines and amateur pilots every day. You hear about the local crashes (like the recent one involving the deceased Tesla Motors employees or the one last week killing three people in Redwood Shores) but you do *not* hear about the hundreds of other crashes in other areas of the country and the thousands in the rest of the world. When you take a child to the free air ride, the child assumes it is safe --because you take him and he trusts you. Please let your child grow up and become an informed adult capable of assessing his or her own risk in flying in a a small airplane. In the meanwhile, do not gamble with their life.

Like this comment
Posted by Sam
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 11, 2010 at 12:55 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Like this comment
Posted by Jerry
a resident of Southgate
on Sep 11, 2010 at 6:51 pm


Yes, there is a risk in putting kids into the air. However, there is a greater risk by leaving them on the ground. It is the difference between two dimensions and three dimensions. That third dimension can liberate a young mind. Two dimensions are not enough, enough of the time. Imagine all the kids who ended up in prison without a third-dimension dream.

PAO is a real joyful resource for Palo Alto.

Like this comment
Posted by Reluctant Siliconer
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 11, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Airport Day sucked. There was loud, obnoxious music blasting from one of the hangars, Born-Again Christian proselytizer/aircraft builders handing out pamphlets to kids without checking with parents first, and no one could figure out how to sign kids up for the purported free rides. It was a waste of time.

Like this comment
Posted by Sara
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Sep 11, 2010 at 11:18 pm

I agree with the above poster that Airport Day was a disappointment. Could have done without the loud music. There should have been a host greeting everyone at the door and explaining what was going on. They should not have allowed distribution of religious coins and pamphlets. We arrived at 3:15 and did not see police or fire representatives. They could have had some booth explaining the history of aviation. All the booths had nothing to do with airplanes. Still glad I went; now I know.

Like this comment
Posted by Talk to me
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 12, 2010 at 7:20 pm

You know what they say the snoozers are the losers.

If you had bothered to get there sooner there were plenty of opportunities to go for an airplane ride. The kiddies were getting certificates and t-shiorts. As for the commentator that claims this was unsafe, where is your evidence that this organization has a safety problem?

As for small planes every single professional pilot I know started with the fundaments of flight in a single engine piston aircraft.

No pilots starts out in a Boeing 737.

Like this comment
Posted by Palo Altan
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 12, 2010 at 9:18 pm

@Talk to me: Ads said nothing about getting there early for more goodies so "you snooze, you lose" does not apply to the event. The whole event was poorly run.

Like this comment
Posted by Talk to me
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 13, 2010 at 7:24 am

Showing up early is a rule in life. Do you really need an ad to tell you that?

Yes, it could have been run better but truth is this was a mom and pop type event and not some slick corporate produced mega show. Sorry you were disappointed but I saw a lot of happy folks.

Like this comment
Posted by Lived in Minnesota
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 13, 2010 at 2:32 pm

The poster, "Talk to me" sounds like a midwesterner. People in the midwest show up to things early (15-20 min. early) and don't expect much. We are used to impressive shows and being late (busier lives, traffic). Our Silicon Valley standards are higher.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Couple brings Chinese zongzi to Mountain View
By Elena Kadvany | 0 comments | 5,748 views

Don't Miss Your Exit (and other lessons from an EV drive)
By Sherry Listgarten | 6 comments | 1,328 views

Goodbye Food Waste!
By Laura Stec | 2 comments | 1,195 views

Can cities handle our traffic mess? I doubt it!
By Diana Diamond | 16 comments | 1,116 views

"Better" Dads and "Re-invigorated" Moms: Happier Couples
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,045 views


Register today!

‚ÄčOn Friday, October 11, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families.

Learn More