Organization's Eyes And Ears At Local Airports
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s Airport Support
Network (ASN) recently surpassed the 2,000 volunteer mark. The
volunteers are AOPA’s eyes and ears at America's community
airports, helping the Frederick, MD-based national pilot advocacy
organization stay informed about local airport issues.
The 2,000th volunteer is Troy D. Hightower, who learned of his
appointment in a phone call from ASN program director Jennifer
Local pilots play a vital role in protecting community airports,
which is why AOPA created the Airport Support Network, a nationwide
system of volunteers dedicated to promoting and protecting
community airports. The program has been growing steadily since its
inception in 1997. With the volunteers' advance warning and
support, the Association has been able to address many community
airport issues proactively over the years -- often before it is too
"AOPA has a great team working on airport advocacy issues," said
AOPA President Craig L. Fuller. "But without ASN volunteers
watching out for local airports, they might not get the inside
information early enough to influence the outcome. We are grateful
for the critical assistance ASN volunteers provide."
Hightower, a private pilot and longtime AOPA member, was
appointed as the ASN volunteer for Meadows Field (BFL) in
Bakersfield, CA. He said he volunteered because he was concerned
about the management of his home airport and because protecting
airports helps more than just pilots.
Being a part of the ASN program helps communicate "how important
airports are to the community, in addition to the users of the
airport," Hightower said, adding he has already spoken with airport
users about their concerns over Meadows Field.
The AOPA Airport Support Network is a special group of
volunteers dedicated to promoting and protecting community
airports. The program's goal is to have an ASN volunteer appointed
at every public-use airport in the country to serve as an "early
warning system" for local airport issues.