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  • Monday, March 29, 2021 9:00 AM | Michelle Judice (Administrator)

    75 Dogs Transported to Westchester as part of Valentine’s Day mission


    Top: The SATO Project volunteer holds new arrival from Puerto Rico. Middle: The Levene family of Chappaqua greets new dog Zena.

    WEST HARRISON, NY (February 13, 2021) – Million Air Westchester, the luxury FBO at Westchester County Airport, hosted The SATO Project in an emotional day that united rescued dogs and their new families over Valentine’s Day weekend. 

    The Sato Project collaborating with Wings of Rescue airlifted 75 dogs to the FBO’s hangar where they were received by loving families. The flight was part of the “Love is in the Air” mission to save more than 500 at-risk shelter pets during the week of Valentine’s Day with support from Tito’s Handmade Vodka and the spirits company’s Vodka for Dog People program.

    All of the dogs were rescued from the streets of Puerto Rico, saved from a severe hoarding situation, abandoned, or pulled from overburdened animal shelters impacted by recent earthquakes. The Sato Project has rescued, rehabilitated, and flown more than 5,000 dogs to the Northeast.

    “We were very grateful for the opportunity to host The SATO project and provide the space for this loving union between Westchester families and their new pets,’’ said Roger Woolsey, CEO of Million Air. “The work that this organization does is nothing short of miraculous and we were proud to play our small part in this effort.’’

    Dozens of volunteers arrived at Million Air on Saturday, Feb. 13 to help unload the animals, complete paperwork and unite them with their new families who eagerly awaited their arrival. 

    John and Allison Levene of Chappaqua and their children, Owen, 6, and Shane, 3, were there to pick up Zena, who was rescued as a tiny pup from a plastic bag dumped by the side of the road. Zena, now four months looking healthy and happy, rewarded her new family with plenty of kisses. 

    “We lost our dog a while ago, and we are all very happy to have Zena,’’ said John Levene.  

    There is a stray dog epidemic in Puerto Rico, where an estimated 500,000 roam the streets and municipal shelters average a 94-96% euthanasia rate. For the past decade, The Sato Project has rescued, rehabilitated, and flown more than 5,000 rescue dogs to the Northeast.

    Also contributing to the cause on Saturday was Rita and Vincent Santelia of Silver Lake Pizza who donated lunch for dozens of volunteers. 


    Headquartered in Houston, Million Air is an award-winning network of luxury executive FBO terminals spanning four continents. Million Air has been named Best Large FBO Chain for the past nine years delivering genuine care and exceptional service to aircraft owners, pilots and their distinguished guests. Million Air also provides aircraft charter, management, sales, and aircraft maintenance as well as FBO services. To read more about Million Air, visit www.millionair.com.  


    The Sato Project is dedicated to rescuing abused and abandoned dogs in Puerto Rico. Founded in 2011, the 501(c)(3) has transformed the lives of more than 5,000 stray dogs—vetting them to the highest standards and finding them homes in the Northeast. The Sato Project is also addressing the underlying causes of overpopulation via spay/neuter initiatives in underserved communities and has serviced more than 7,000 companion animals since 2014. Since Hurricane Maria, the organization has distributed more than 130,000 pounds of food and humanitarian supplies to the island. To learn more or support our work, visit TheSatoProject.org or follow us on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter


    Wings of Rescue is a donation-based charity flying large-scale transports of at-risk shelter pets from overcrowded shelters and disaster areas to shelters where there is empty kennel space and where no local shelter pets are displaced by the flights. Founded in 2012, Wings of Rescue utilizes volunteer pilots flying rescue missions in their own planes as well as chartered cargo planes to “Let the Fur Fly”. Since its inception, more than 50,000 pets have flown to safety. To donate, please visit Wings of Rescue and Facebook.

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Presentation created by the WAA on the Westchester County Airport and all of the benefits it brings to our community

HPN PowerPoint December 2020.pdf

11/29 Runway Closure Update

HPN Airports Operations has decided to take the advice of the WAA's very own Scott Dyer and cancel the Notam closing Runway 11/29 during tower closure periods.

Effective Wednesday, October 21, 2020 Runway 11/29 will be open during the tower hours of operation 0700-2200. Thank you, Scott for continuing to keep the lines of communication open between the General Aviation Community and the Operations team at HPN.

11/29 Runway Closure Update

HPN Airports Operations has decided to take the advice of the WAA's very own Scott Dyer and cancel the Notam closing Runway 11/29 during tower closure periods.

Effective Wednesday, October 21, 2020 Runway 11/29 will be open during the tower hours of operation 0700-2200. Thank you, Scott for continuing to keep the lines of communication open between the General Aviation Community and the Operations team at HPN.

HPN Traffic Conflict-A Teaching Moment

A traffic conflict situation we can all learn from occurred one morning recently at Westchester County Airport, when it was operating as a non-towered airfield.   We at the Westchester Aviation Association ("WAA") hope that a review of this situation can be useful in causing us to think about safe operations and how our actions can contribute to professional operations.


The field was VMC, with 10 miles visibility and a 4,600' broken ceiling.

The essence of the incident is that a jet departing HPN taxied to Runway 34, in the dark, shortly after 5AM. The jet had obtained a "hold for release" IFR clearance for its short repositioning flight. In the meantime, a twin turboprop under VFR flew a right base to runway 34, turning about a 2 mile final. It made CTAF calls in the blind on a 4 mile right base, and on a 2 mile final. The jet called Approach to state it was ready to depart. It was released, with a void time 9 minutes later. It requested, and was granted, an early right turn direct to DPK VOR on departure rather than flying the Westchester 7 departure. The jet reported that it was "rolling". ATC told the jet that it showed traffic on a 2 mile final, at 1,000'. The jet acknowledged the call but did not report the traffic in sight. The jet then stated on CTAF that it was departing Runway 34. Words were exchanged between the twin turboprop and the jet, complaining about the jet taking off with the turboprop on short final. The jet responded that it had a void time clearance. The jet completed its flight, and the twin turboprop landed on Runway 34.


Non-towered operations at HPN require a high level of cooperation among aircrews and high vigilance in avoiding traffic conflicts.

  1. In the recent situation, the jet departed with traffic on a 2 mile final, or less, that would cover the distance to the runway in about 30 seconds. That departure clearly caused the arriving turboprop to be concerned about separation from the jet on the runway. Such a traffic situation could require a very low altitude go-around by the turboprop if the jet delayed its departure at all, or had any issue that would cause it to abort its takeoff. It can be assumed that Tower controllers would not have cleared the jet for departure with the twin turboprop on short final at 1,000' or below. While it is not known if the jet had the arriving traffic in sight, either way would counsel that the jet should have delayed its departure with no other aircraft reporting in the pattern.
  2. A void time of any duration should not have caused the jet to depart with traffic on a short final. The void time was 9 minutes after ATC release. A delay of departure of several minutes by the jet would have eliminated any potential conflict, especially since it had already been granted an expeditious routing that avoided having to fly the SID, and would have easily complied with the void time restriction. One reason ATC gave as lengthy a void time as 9 minutes for the jet may have been that the controller saw the traffic on final and planned that the jet would depart after its arrival. Even were the void time only a few minutes away, safety suggests that the departure not occur and a new void time be obtained because of the traffic situation
  3. The turboprop flew a non-standard pattern to Runway 34, flying a right based to a 2 mile final. All arriving VFR aircraft are required to observe the standard pattern for the HPN runways (e.g., left hand traffic) when approaching the airport to land, unless instructed otherwise by the tower. In this case, the tower was not operating so VFR operations should have used left hand traffic patterns. While the pattern used int his case did not seem to contribute to the conflict situation, there have been recent occasions, when the Tower has been closed in busy periods, when some traffic is flying left and right patterns, with base legs pointing aircraft at each other. Please fly left traffic unless instructed otherwise by ATC.
  4. Arguing on the frequency, either pilot/ATC or pilot/pilot, accomplishes no purpose and is contrary to safety. As understandable and right as objections to an operation may be, it is far better practice to talk about it once on the ground whether by telephone with ATC or through call to the owner/operator/chief pilot of the other aircraft. And, a corollary: profanity should never be used on the air.

We at WAA encourage all of our airport users to fly safely and cooperatively. And we hope that you will join us at the December 10 7:30 pm virtual WAA/ATC meeting, details of which are available here: Click Here to register for the meeting. 

The Northeast Virtual Aviation Safety Stand Down 

This WAA sponsored event took place on Saturday September 12, 2020 via a Webinar and was attended by 170 guests. This live event took the traditional aviation safety stand down to the next level! The event included multiple different live presentations, each followed by Q&A. The WAA would like to thank Gene Benson for his partnership on this informative session.

WAA Members are able to login to their accounts and view the recording Here.

HPN Corporate and Jet Avoidance of VFR Aircraft

Please take a few moments to watch this detailed video created by Scott Dyer, WAA Board members and CFI. The video details what corporate and jet crews need to know about avoiding VFR aircraft around Westchester County Airport, including inbound/outbound VFR routes, transition routes and practice areas. Much of the battle of avoiding conflict is knowing where the VFRs usually are.


Westchester Aviation Association is a non-profit organization.

P.O. Box 447  |  Purchase, NY 10577-0447

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