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AOPA Apologizes For Schedule Conflict

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In scheduling seven new fly-in events around the country for this year, AOPA ran into a conflict with members' religious duties, an oversight that AOPA President Mark Baker apologized for on Monday. "We know that our choice of Oct. 4 [for the Frederick, Md., Homecoming fly-in] is profoundly disappointing to our Jewish members, and we apologize for failing to recognize that possibility before committing to the date," Baker said, in an open letter posted on the AOPA website. Oct. 4 is the date for Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, one of the holiest days in the Jewish year. Baker said it's not possible to change this year's date, but in the future AOPA will be more careful to consider the religious calendar when scheduling events.

"Scheduling each event involved bringing together many factors both within and beyond our control, including airport availability, weather patterns, other aviation events, each city's preferences and obligations, and our own capacity to execute each fly-in," said Baker. "In planning the Frederick, Md., event, we had an extremely narrow window in which we could find space in the city of Frederick's calendar, anticipate reasonable weather, avoid conflicts with the nearby Leesburg, Va., airshow, and commit the resources needed to host this event." Baker invited those unable to attend the Maryland event to visit one of AOPA's other East Coast fly-ins, in Indianapolis, Ind.; Plymouth, Mass.; or St. Simons, Ga. "We know that these events may be farther from home for some of you, but we hope it will be worth the extra effort to join us," he said.

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