Aviation Day soaring success

Like the airplanes that climb high into the sky, attendance at the annual Aviation Day event in Columbus continues to reach new heights. The third edition of the event, on June 11 at the Columbus Municipal Airport, drew about 6,000 spectators — a new record.

That topped the estimated 5,000 who attended the inaugural event in 2014. The only thing that prevented this year’s crowd from being larger was the sweltering afternoon heat, said airport director Brian Payne.

What it means is that Aviation Day is a hit. That’s a good sign for a young event, and great news for the city.

A professional airshow, a new addition to the day’s offerings, provided great entertainment and certainly had an impact on the size of the crowd. Four pilots spun, flipped and plummeted their airplanes in acrobatic displays of aerial prowess, thrilling the spectators. Attractions such as that help Aviation Day stand out and make great use of one of the city’s valuable resources — the airport.

The airport is an important commercial vehicle and tourist attraction, with its ability to stage large events, serve the private and corporate needs of individuals and companies, host meetings for groups and share the local aviation history with the Atterbury-Bakalar Air Museum next door.

Aviation Day has quickly shown its value because of the tremendous efforts of airport staff and many volunteers, and is worth continuing for years to come.