Mon, Dec 08, 2003
Working To Improve The Lot Of GA
AOPA President Phil Boyer and senior
staff this week told the National Transportation Safety Board
members that the association can be a real asset to the NTSB when
it has general aviation concerns.
"Only one of the board members has any significant GA
experience," said Boyer. "We wanted the other members to understand
that there are often non-regulatory ways to improve safety, and
that AOPA can help with pilot education."
Boyer and AOPA Senior Vice President of Government and Technical
Affairs Andy Cebula began by introducing the board members to AOPA
members. They explained that AOPA is the world's largest civil
aviation organization and that AOPA members account for some two
thirds of the entire US pilot population.
Cebula told the members that AOPA
sees its role in the FAA's safety regulation process as introducing
industry safety initiatives and analyzing FAA proposals. "When the
FAA makes a new safety proposal, we ask ourselves, "Does it work?'"
said Cebula. "If the answer is yes, then we make sure the new
regulation will be as effective as possible while causing the least
possible negative impact on pilots.
"If the answer is no, then we try to see how the proposal can be
changed and made workable."
Boyer then spotlighted the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. "The
missions of the NTSB and the Air Safety Foundation are virtually
identical — at least when it comes to aviation — to
make flying safer," he said.
He told the board members about ASF's myriad of educational
programs, from online courses to live safety seminars, safety
advisors to flight instructor refresher courses, both live and
"The whole purpose of the meeting was to drive home one point to
the NTSB," said Boyer, "that AOPA and ASF can respond to GA safety
issues with programs that are effective at reducing the accident
rate. And we can do it quickly without the need for additional
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