AOPA Says... Not Bad!
By ANN Correspondent Aleta Vinas
AOPA President Phil
Boyer spoke to ANN about what the coming year holds for general
One of the top items is watching the FAA and the charges against
Chicago for not only using proper procedures in the destruction of
Meigs Field but for misusing federal funds in the process.
Boyer (below, right) predicts "the airlines taking on general
aviation to pay a greater share of the operation of the air traffic
system." A system put in place mostly for the airlines. AOPA
will be standing against implementations of user fees. This is an
issue the NBAA is also readying for.
On airports, AOPA will work to avoid airport closures and
restore GA ops at some fields. Three local DC airports closed after
9-11, College Park (CGS), Potomac (VKX), and Washington
Executive/Hyde Field (W34), nicknamed the DC3, are in a holding
pattern. Boyer feels that until General Aviation operations are
restored at Reagan National, work on the DC3 is stalled. On a
historical note, supplied by Chris Dancy of AOPA, College Park, is
recognized as the nation's oldest airport, established by the
Wright Brothers themselves.
Protecting the airspace in the airport vicinity continues. The
AOPA staff reviews every FCC application to review the placement of
Looking at security
concerns, work will continue on shrinking the Washington ADIZ.
The 30 mile Presidential TFR, too much? That's one of the
questions AOPA will be asking in 2005.
When the new pilot license implementation gets underway, AOPA
will be sure there are no rights infringements and no undue "hassle
factor" in applying for one.
The A76 study, a study on the Flight Service Station system will
have the FAA making some decisions in early 2005 and AOPA will be
at the table "making sure that we end up with an improved service,
even though it might be reduced in the number of stations."
The affordability of GA is always on the agenda, AOPA will look
at the cost of insurance and new equipment rulings (the new ELT and
radios for example).
There are plans to reach out to more of the general public and
generate awareness and interest in aviation. The Weather channel
has been carrying some GA ads. AOPA will beef up their PR staff and
be more proactive rather than reactive.
The emphasis will shift from "General Aviation" to "Personal
Aviation", Boyer thinks "it says more than general aviation
does." One of this years themes will be "A mile of highway
gets you a mile, a mile of runway gets you anywhere."
AOPA will work to
expand the airport watch program and make the general public more
aware of what is being done.
Member surveys will continue to play an important roll, so AOPA
"can take the correct stand," said Boyer.
AOPA's Air Safety Foundation will see the development of an on
line learning center. A single, easy to navigate site of the
learning courses. A minimum of four new courses a year will be
added and publicity for the site will be increased.