Dec. 21, 2016

The Colorado Aviation Business Association (CABA) this year airlifted a record 10,000 pounds of donated items to hundreds of veterans and their families across the state.

For six years, CABA members have collected and airlifted toys and nonperishable food as part of the Colorado Veterans of Foreign Wars’ annual holiday effort to help veterans and their families in need.

“The VFW Airlift is a perfect opportunity for CABA to give back to the local community, while at the same time showing the importance of business and general aviation to our state,” said CABA Vice Chairman Kandi Spangler.

CABA launched the annual airlift in 2011 after the father of Brittany Davies, then chair of the CABA board, mentioned his involvement with the VFW effort, Spangler said. CABA seized business aviation’s opportunity to expand the program’s reach.

In addition to donating their aircraft and time, CABA members manage collection efforts at Centennial and Rocky Mountain Metropolitan airports’ FBOs, and at its annual holiday party, which is the airlift’s primary fundraiser. Held Dec. 8, this year’s keynote speaker and honoree was retired Jeppesen CEO Mark Van Tine.

Ten aircraft participated in this year’s airlift, said Spangler, and the majority of the aircraft involved were donated by members of the Precision Flight Team at the Metropolitan State University of Denver, who rented the single-engine Cessnas for their flights from Centennial to Burlington, Las Animas, Pueblo, Alamosa and Montrose, where VFW delivery teams met them.

The team members are all pursuing degrees at the school’s Department of Aviation and Aerospace, said Spangler, and CABA has a student chapter there.

Learn more about CABA.