Meet our members: Jason Licon

Jason Licon

jason-licon-closeupJason grew up next to the Greater Kankakee Airport in Kankakee, Illinois. His mother was a flight attendant for Continental airlines so he has been flying since he was about six months old. On the weekends his family always tried to find things to do. One day they noticed a pancake breakfast at the airport so they went. They were offering $10.00 airplane rides and that, he says, was his point of no return.

After that he would ride his bike over to the airport to watch airplanes and talk with pilots. He and his mother joined the local EAA chapter. If there was an airplane ride he could get involved with, he took it.

He got to know the airport manager. When he turned 16 they offered him a job just doing odd jobs here and there. The airport had just bought out the FBO so he started fueling airplanes, cleaning hanger floors, and mowing lawns. Basically anything that needed to be done at a small airport.

From that point on he was in high school and worked part time during school hours and full time during summers and breaks.

He went to college at Southern Illinois University for engineering but switched to aviation. He worked at Southern Illinois Airport whenever his hours would allow.

Summers and breaks he would go home and work at the KIKK. Three days after graduation he was hired at his home town airport. They knew the airport manager was planning on leaving in a few months, so they created an assistant manager position for him which made for a seamless transition from the retiring airport manager to him.

It was while he was at an airport executive conference that he became acquainted with a recruiter that was recruiting for the job here at FNL.  Although he and his wife were happy where they were, they were open to the idea of going someplace else.

The area of Illinois that he and his family lived in has never really recovered from the recession in 2007. His wife’s family lives in Texas, so Colorado was a good midway point and a great place to raise his family. It also was seen as having tremendous potential to advance his career as FNL was a commercial service airport with more traffic and a higher level of activity.

He loves his job. As he says, “With a small staff there is always something different and challenging to do every day.”

He has owned an airplane, but that was one of the point to point planes. He wants a plane where he can take people up for rides and enjoy the scenery and the act of flying rather than just go fast and get there.

At this point of his life he needs to think about all the costs and time needed to raise a growing family. His wife is staying home raising the kids, which has recently grown to three, so he reluctantly “traded his plane in for a minivan.”

Some day he would like to get back into aircraft ownership but for now he has friends that he can fly with and aircraft he can rent.

This Is Your Association

We’ve been getting unsolicited feedback from a few of you over the past months about how things are going with FNL Pilots Association, your airport advocacy group.  We’ve received many good comments on our monthly Pilot Refresher Courses.  The members who have talked with officers or board members have told us that our choice of topics and the presentation of those topics has been well received.  If you have an idea for a topic or know of a relevant presenter, please share with us.  This is your Association.

In concert with the local EAA chapter, we’ve started an EAA-sponsored IMC Club for instrument pilots and those that aspire to fly in Instrument Meteorological Conditions.  We meet the third Wednesday of each month at 7pm in the jetCenter hangar, watch a quick video that describes a particular IFR scenario, and then discuss what we would do in that situation.  Participation earns you a WINGS knowledge credit.

We had a BBQ last Saturday (August 13) to encourage pilot socialization.  Airport Director Jason Licon gave us an update on what’s happening at our airport.  We want to do more of these social events, and would also like to see more of our members attend (we had a turn-out of about 30 members out of almost 150 of you).  It’s “free” food (paid for by your dues).  This is your Association.

One or more of our officers and board attend meetings of the Northern Colorado Airport Commission, the Colorado Aviation Business Association, and the Colorado Aeronautical Board.  We monitor the activity of these various groups with an eye toward our members.  Additionally, we get an airport update from Jason Licon or his staff at our monthly Officers & Board meetings.  It’s our job to represent your interests.  This is your Association.

We use our periodic newsletter to keep you informed and up to date on FNL.  If you want to see us cover something that we’re missing, let us know.  This is your Association.

Our contact information is on our web page.  Feel free to contact any of the officers and board if you have a question, comment, or concern.  This is your Association.

Board Member Change

Kimberly Osborn, who has been serving on our Board of Directors since mid-2014, has announced that she needs to step down ahead of her end of term January 2017.

Kimberly joined the Board at the same time FNL Pilots Association began experimenting with hosting a Facebook page.  She has advocated for reaching the next generation of pilots, and through her efforts we now have about three times as many followers on Facebook as we have members in the Association.

Kimberly arranged for this month’s refresher course speakers, aviation attorneys Joseph and Caitlin Lorusso.  She was planning to introduce them at the beginning of the presentation April 28, but unfortunately has a conflict and can’t attend.  Kimberly’s last day on the Board is April 30.

Please join me in thanking Kimberly for her two years of service to the members of the FNL Pilots Association!

Article VI Section 2 of our bylaws directs the Officers and Board to appoint a replacement for the vacant position who will serve until the next January Annual Meeting.  We are happy to announce that Jason Kopp, Blue Ocean’s Chief Pilot, has accepted our appointment for the rest of 2016.