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Yokota co-hosts Midair Collision Avoidance Conference
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Yokota co-hosted the Midair Collision Avoidance conference with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Sept. 24, 2011. Held to promote safe practices between on and off-base pilots, the event had more than 120 attendees, many of them arriving via small aircraft from off base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stacy Moless)
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Yokota co-hosts conference to boost communication with local pilots

Posted 9/27/2011   Updated 9/27/2011 Email story   Print story


by Airman John D. Partlow
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

9/27/2011 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Members of Japan's Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association gathered here alongside Yokota personnel Sept. 24 for the Midair Collision Avoidance Conference.

The conference allowed civilian pilots and air traffic controllers in the Kanto Plain region to discuss aviation with military pilots and controllers.

"This meeting will definitely help communications between pilots and air traffic controllers," said Lt. Col. James Hackbarth 374th Airlift Wing chief of safety. "Getting together in this environment to talk as friends, we get to know how each other operate, what each other's concerns are and what each person is seeing as we fly our different machines to make sure we're staying safe."

Approximately 30 different civilian aircraft arrived on the Yokota runway carrying various conference members. More than 120 people attended the meeting to learn and discuss aircraft safety.

The day-long conference included airspace briefings from military air traffic controllers and mission and operations briefings from U.S. and Japanese military aircrews.

This event is a very significant one," said Arinori Yamagata, AOPA vice president. "Aircraft safety is very important."

Safety was the number one theme of the MACA conference and the event was hosted largely to further that aim.

"I'm excited to get all these people together, to talk about issues and to make sure we continue Yokota's strong record of safety with all our partners and friends in the Kanto Plain region," said Hackbarth.

Col. William Knight, 374th Airlift Wing vice commander, took part in the conference to remind everyone of the importance of the topic at hand.

"Whether we're flying a C-130 on a low-level air drop or a Cessna 172 for business or pleasure, we all have the responsibility to enhance flight safety," said the colonel during the opening ceremony.

After a day of discussing concerns and exchanging flight information, the attendees parted both by land and air.

"We're very fortunate we had wonderful weather to bring all the different aircrew and aircraft onto Yokota," said Hackbarth. "I look forward to the next MACA event."

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