It has already been announced and publicized that 2023 will be the last year that the races are held at the Reno-Stead Airport. EAA Chapter 1361 members have a history of managing the volunteers who work as as drivers/safety observers for the people-mover shuttle at the National Championship Air Races. This year the race (and tram operation) dates are Wednesday, September 13 through Sunday, September 17. Volunteers drive the tractors towing the trailers carrying event attendees and observers watch for attendees requesting a ride and, when necessary, assist the attendees in getting on and off the shuttle.
There will be a driver and at least one observer on each shuttle/tram. As the number of volunteers increases, an On-Duty Reserve position will be established from the list of volunteers. The Reserve individual(s) will need to be at the event and will be expected to ride/check in with the shuttle Area Coordinators to see if they need to provide break time for one of the working volunteers. If so, the Reserve person will take over the worker’s position while they take a short break – perhaps one or two laps for the shuttle. The Reserve person may also be called upon to fill a position for a volunteer who does not show up for a shift and, in that case, would work the absent individuals full shift..
Two people-mover shuttles work in the air race venue Wednesday and Thursday, one inside the race pit area on the west end of the ramp and the other in the general admission area on the east end of the ramp. Friday through Sunday there are four shuttles running at a time, two in each of the areas previously described, running in opposite directions. Shuttle operation will begin at 6:30 am and operate until approximately 5 pm each day.
The number of people who volunteer to work will determine the length of the work periods. In past years there have been two daily work periods, approximately 6:30 am – 12:30 pm and 12:00 pm until 5:00 pm.
EAA Chapter 1361 will receive a monetary donation from the Reno Air Racing Association for its members part in organizing the volunteers for the event. The amount of the donation will be determined by the number of hours that volunteers work during the event while operating the shuttles.
Volunteers who work during the races will be given attendance passes related to their number of volunteer hours and the number of days and specific days over which those hours are spread. Air Race management has set the the qualifications necessary for earning a race/parking pass of a specific type. If a volunteer works at least three work periods, one of which is on either Saturday or Sunday, they will receive a wristband and volunteer parking pass for the entire week. Volunteers working less than this will receive an event wristband and parking pass for the day during which they work.
A schedule of volunteer working periods is available here. Do not let filled work periods or positions shown on the schedule prevent you from volunteering to work on a given day/time/position. The volunteers shown on the schedule may have offered to work for more positions than they have been assigned and their work schedules could be re-arranged to provide openings when you are available to volunteer.
Volunteer Orientation Meeting. There will be an Air Race tram volunteer orientation session on Saturday, September 9th at 9 am at the Reno-Stead Airport – at the hangar on the east side of the taxiway entrance to the aircraft wash rack. (about 2/3 of the way between the west end of the ramp and the permanent grandstands – large hangar, covered entrance and small balcony on ramp side) The orientation will cover tractor driving controls, proper towing of the trams, tram routes, safety observer procedures, and operation of driver/observer radios. We will have RARA volunteer release forms and will distribute volunteer credentials to those who attend.
Chapter Information (775) 393-9403
You need not be a current member of EAA Chapter 1361 to volunteer to work on the people-mover shuttle. We would, of course, love to have you join but will welcome your volunteer help in any capacity. Volunteers work for the Reno Air Racing Association, not EAA Chapter 1361, Inc. EAA Chapter 1361 members volunteer with the Reno Air Racing Foundation as individuals when working on the trams or managing the tram volunteers.
Please fill out the following form if you are willing to commit specific time as a volunteer at the Air Races or fill out our website contact form if you need more information. If we do not know the answer to your question we will contact the Reno Air Racing Association and find the answer.