Next up in the series is Phil Derner Jr. I had the privilege of meeting him at a Google Travel tweetup in NYC several months ago. Phil is a pro plane spotter and he is half of the dynamic duo behind NYCAviation a site and forum specializing in plane spotting photography and aviation news. Already acquainted with Phil? Than maybe you'll learn a few new tidbits, or if you don't know him, allow me to introduce him:
When did you first discover your passion for the aviation community?
I grew up in an apartment overlooking La Guardia, and like any little boy, aside from watching fire trucks, police cars, I was watching the planes. Binoculars in hand, studying books that I had gotten from the library to identify types and airlines....it was a natural fascination from early on.
What are the biggest challenges facing the aviation industry today, in your opinion?
Our biggest challenge, no matter what your interest or profession in this industry is, is the public's perception of it all. Ever since TVs started popping up in homes across America, the only times people would see aviation is if there was a terror attack, a crash, or catastrophic delays. It's unfortunate, misleading, and something that needs to change. That is one of the primary goals of NYCAviation, to teach people that it's ok to look up to the sky and be proud of our technology, how safe it really is and to take advantage of our ability to travel thousands of miles in mere hours! Turn off the TV and all of the negativity and come fly with me instead.
Like Phil, did you have the privilege of growing up with an airport in your backyard? How do you think media could help to improve their reporting and influencing of the public's opinion or air travel and the aviation industry?