RMC Aviation Conference "Economic Impact Of Aviation In Montana" 4/17- Billings

2004-04-17 08:00:00
Losekamp Hall – Rocky Mountain College- Billings

Rocky Mountain College will host aviation experts, political dignitaries, and an American hero when it holds its aviation conference April 17, 2004.

Featuring: NASA Superstar Astronaut: Norman Thagard, U.S. Senator Conrad Burns, U.S. Congressman Denny Rehberg, representative from major airlines serving Billings, and a yet-to-be-named Undersecretary from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Theme: Economic impact of aviation on Montana

Where: Losekamp Hall, Rocky Mountain College

When: April 17, 2004

The conference is free and open to the public. It begins at 8:00 a.m. A complete schedule is included with this press release. There is a banquet at the Holiday Inn Grand. Reservations for the banquet are required. Tickets are $25.00. For reservations and tickets contact the RMC Conference Office, 657-1149.

The conference will focus on the economic impact of aviation on Montana. During the day long conference the audience will hear from U.S. Senator Conrad Burns and U.S. Congressman Denny Rehberg.

Billings Logan Airport Director of Aviation and Transit, Bruce Putnam, will speak on the current state of affairs in airline service and economics.

Other guest speakers include Debbie Alke of the Montana Aeronautics Division, Floyd Dockum of the Federal Aviation Administration in Helena, John Shoff of HKM Engineering and Chris Collinson, Billings Logan Airport traffic control manager.

Representatives from the major airlines serving Billings will engage in a panel discussion on the economics of aviation in the state.

The headliner for the conference is one of America’s most experienced astronauts, Dr. Norman Thagard, who will be the speaker at the banquet. Reservations are required to attend the banquet. Tickets, available from the RMC Conference Office, are $25.

Thagard, named by NASA as one of 15 "Superstars of Space Flight," flew four Shuttle missions and was the first American to fly in the Russian space program when he served as a cosmonaut researcher on the Russian Mir 18 mission in 1995.

A decorated combat pilot in Vietnam from flying 163 combat missions, Thagard was selected as one of 35 astronaut candidates from an applicant pool of 8,079 in 1978. He was a member of the second flight for the Orbiter Challenger in 1983, the first with a woman crew member. He was the first NASA astronaut designated a payload commander and in 1995, after serving on Mir, he held the American record for longest space flight. With 140 days in space, he was the most experienced U.S. astronaut.

Thagard retired from NASA after 18 years in 1996. He is cofounder and executive director of the Challenger Learning Center of Tallahassee which is equipped with a digital space theater, planetarium, IMAX theater, and shuttle/mission control space station simulators. He serves on the board of EMS Technologies, an Atlanta-based communications company and as a consultant to Space Adventures, Ltd., a company offering aerospace experiences, including orbital flight.

He is Distinguished Lecturer for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Thagard has served as an aerospace consultant and technical advisor for several movies, including "Armageddon," starring Bruce Willis and Ben Afleck. A classical music enthusiast, he is the only astronaut to conduct a symphony orchestra.

RMC Aviation Conference Schedule

8:00 a.m. Doors open to Losekamp Hall: Lunch tickets ($5.00) available in the lobby

8:30 a.m. Welcome: Dan Hargrove, RMC aviation program director.
Opening Remarks & Introduction of Guest Speaker: Thomas R. Oates, RMC president.

8:45 a.m. Guest Speaker: U.S. Under-Secretary of Transportation (TBA).

9:15 – 9:30 a.m. Break Lunch tickets available.

9:35 a.m. Discussion of Billings Airport traffic control tower construction
by Chris Collinson, manager, airport traffic control.

9:50 a.m. John Shoff, HKM Engineering, to discuss airport interchange.

10:00 a.m. Debbie Alke, Mt. Aeronautics Division Floyd Dockum, FAA, Helena, Montana

10:30 a.m. Awards presented to U.S. Senator Conrad Burns and Congressman Denny Rehberg.

10:45 a.m. Senator Burns speaks.

11:15 a.m. Congressman Rehberg speaks.

11:45 a.m. Pre-lunch break. Lunch tickets available

12:15 p.m. Lunch in Bair Family-Student Center Cafeteria

1:30 p.m. "Current state of affairs in airline service and economics":
Bruce Putnam, director of aviation and transit, Billings Logan Airport

1:45 p.m. "The economic impact of aviation on Montana":
Panel discussion by representatives of Big Sky, Northwest, Horizon, FedEx, and Comair. Moderated by Dan Hargrove

4:00 p.m. President’s Reception in Great Room of Prescott Hall.
By invitation only. Special guests Dr. Norman Thagard, keynote dinner speaker, and John Mowell, Chairman of the Board, EMS Technologies.

7-9:00 p.m. Aviation banquet at Holiday Inn Convention Center, Ralston Room.

Reservations required for banquet.

Copyright © 2004 Rocky Mountain College. All rights reserved.

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