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Director of Fullerton Airport Receives Award for His Efforts

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SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The director of the Fullerton Municipal Airport has been given an award by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Assn. for his efforts to increase community support for the airport.

The citation from the 300,000-member organization commends Roland Elder for “excellence in public service and unwavering commitment” to the airport. It also praises Elder for “improving a difficult relationship” with Buena Park, which borders the airport on the west.

Residents of Buena Park have sometimes complained about noise from the aircraft that fly over their homes.

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Elder meets monthly with the Fullerton Airport Noise and Safety Committee, a group of six residents from Fullerton and Buena Park that reviews noise complaints.

“The secret is cooperation between the airport users and the community,” he said.

The Fullerton Airport Pilots’ Assn. has also worked to reduce noise by sticking to flight plans and controlling engine speed, he said.

Elder, 48, has been director of the airport since November, 1989.

The airport was built in 1927 for the Chamber of Commerce, and is now used mostly for business and personal transportation to other areas in California and the western states.

About 180,000 takeoffs and landings take place annually at the airport.

Don Miller, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Assn.’s deputy representative in the West, said this is the first time in his organization’s history that a citation has been presented to a municipal airport director.

“I felt very pleased,” said Elder, who received the citation Sept. 30.

He said his father taught him to fly in Arkansas when he was 16. He was an Air Force navigator for 20 years.

Before coming to Fullerton, Elder worked as a flight manual writer for Northrop. He is a Federal Aviation Administration accident prevention counselor.

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