In a press conference on Monday, Cessna once again launched its signature community event, the Citation Special Olympics Airlift (CSOA). The games, which are held every four years, are scheduled to take place in two years, and the airframer has once again issued the call to Citation owners to participate in the airlift, which first began in 1987. “Along with our many volunteer partners, we are extremely proud to kick off our seventh CSOA in support of bringing athletes and coaches to the 2014 Special Olympics USA games,” said Roxanne Bernstein, the OEM’s senior vice president of marketing.
In the first airlift, more than 130 Citation owners carried athletes to and from South Bend, Ind. The most recent airlift in 2010 saw 165 Citations transport 830 athletes to and from the event in Lincoln, Neb. The venue for the next games will be New Jersey’s Princeton/Mercer County area, and Cessna is looking to recruit at least 175 Citation owners who will donate their jets, pilots and fuel to carry approximately 1,000 Special Olympics athletes from their home airports to the games and back home. “The generosity of Cessna, its industry partners and the Citation owners not only provides our programs with a much-needed solution to the costs associated with transporting delegations, but it also gives our athletes a once-in-a-lifetime aviation experience,” said Bob Gobrecht, president and managing director of Special Olympics North America.