CLEARWATER – The Marine and Aviation department invites residents and families to attend the Clearwater Airpark Open House on Saturday, March 15, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 1000 N. Hercules Ave. Admission is free. Clearwater also welcomes back hometown NASA astronaut, Nicole Stott.
Attendees will get a chance to see several aircrafts up close, such as a Coast Guard helicopter, Army helicopter and Bayflite helicopter, as operations permit.
The event will include a small ceremony honoring Stott, followed by a free kids’ activities, reduced rate airplane and helicopter rides, a K-9 demonstration by the Clearwater Police Department, and an appearance by Clearwater Fire and Rescue. There also will be free hot dogs and soft drinks while supplies last.
“We generally host between 2,000 to 3,000 friends, neighbors, and exhibitors during an average open house,” said Gordie Wills, airpark operations manager. “We expect this year’s event to be just as popular.”
In the past couple of years, a variety of airpark improvements have been made, including a longer runway, topping or removing trees that were impacting the federally required glide slope, and new hours of operations for pilots.
“These changes made the airpark safer for both the pilots and surrounding neighborhoods,” said Bill Morris, marine and aviation director for the city.