Thu, May 29, 2003
Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.) has paid a very public
tribute to AOPA's efforts to preserve and secure general aviation
airports. In congressional comments, Miller said, "AOPA has
pioneered two critical programs that work to protect and preserve
safe and secure access of general aviation pilots to the nation's
airspace and airports — the Airport Support Network and the
Airport Watch Program."
"We're extremely flattered that Congressman Miller would
recognize us so publicly," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "But
even more impressive to us is his understanding of general
aviation. Gary Miller sits on the powerful House Transportation
Committee, and having allies there who know the value of GA is
In his remarks, Miller singled out the ordinary
pilots who do extraordinary work for the Airport Support Network.
"The Airport Support Network has been very successful in my home
state of California," he said "AOPA efforts have produced
successful steps toward the preservation of two very important
California general aviation airports — Oceanside Municipal
and Montgomery Field. The Airport Support Network encourages
communication and activity that most recently resulted in the city
council of Oceanside supporting an airport master plan that will
ensure continued operations at the airport. I am encouraged by
these efforts and believe that the Airport Support Network will
help ensure that our system of general aviation airports remains
protected and viable."
Miller also made note of the AOPA Airport Watch program. "Formed
out of a partnership between AOPA and TSA, [it] was created to keep
these viable airports safe and secure. Pilots and members of the
general aviation community are being instructed in what to look for
in the manner of suspicious activity at their airports. Educational
materials have disseminated throughout the aviation community.
Pilots are instructed to either contact local authorities or report
suspicious activity to a nationwide toll free hotline —
"Airport Watch is a great example of AOPA's efforts to promote
security while preserving the freedom of the skies."
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