September 19, 2002
AOPA is going directly to the general public with a major advertising campaign and new Web site dedicated to telling nonpilots the truth about general aviation.
Ever since the September 11 attacks, public misunderstanding of what GA is and all that it does has been an obstacle to overcome. Beginning on Monday, September 23, AOPA will turn obstacle into opportunity with nationwide newspaper ads introducing the non-flying public to GA Serving America.
"This is the largest advertising campaign, especially directed at opinion leaders and the general public, that we have ever conceived," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "We developed them to teach the general public and politicians how vital a role GA plays in the nation's daily life. The GA Serving America Web site does just that, and the ads will draw people to it."
All five ads in the series feature a quick fact, an enlightening bit of information about what GA is and does, and directs the reader to the Web site.
GA Serving America is aimed primarily at nonpilots but can be useful to pilots as well, as they try to dispel misconceptions held by others in their community. It is a teaching tool that explains all the many aspects of general aviation and the critical role GA plays in both a community as well as the national economy.
"It is important that decision makers and the public understand what general aviation is, how it works, and what it does for all Americans," Boyer said. "What we convey in this site is that general aviation is important to the fabric of American life."
Without general aviation, the quality of life in America would be vastly reduced. Crop yields from our farms would drop by 50 percent. There would be no overnight shipment of packages. Business and industry would lose their competitive edge in world markets. Lives would be lost without emergency life flights. And 145 million people a year would have no practical way to reach their travel destinations.
"By getting opinion leaders to visit this Web site and share what they learn with others, they, and their constituents, will be able to make well informed and sound decisions regarding general aviation and the infrastructure that supports it," Boyer said. "Hopefully, they will also have a greater appreciation for their local community airport that serve the needs of individuals, government, and businesses alike."
The ads themselves are sure to catch the eye of Congress and businessmen across the country. They will run in the September 23, 24, and 25 editions of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. The Chicago Tribune will run the ads September 24 and 25, The New York Times September 23, and USA Today September 23 and 24. They will appear September 23, 26, and 30 in the small but influential newspaper Roll Call, which is widely read on Capitol Hill. They will also run in the September 23 edition of Business Week and the September 26 and October 3 editions of the National Journal.
The advertising campaign and the Web site were funded by thousands of AOPA members who donated to the General Aviation Restoration Fund.
As the cold weather chills AOPA’s Headquarters in Frederick, many of us are inside generating new resources for flying clubs.
In my house, every Friday night is “Movie Night.” While the movies are rarely educational (I don’t think I learned anything from the Lego Movie), we look forward to the weekly opportunity to spend time together. Why not use the same concept for your Flying Club (with the addition of education, of course)?
AOPA Flying Club Manager Kelby Ferwerda posted the following on the AOPA Flying Club Facebook Page: “Recently I’ve talked with quite a few Flying Clubs about maintaining social activity through the cold winter months. Some clubs host Holliday Parties, others have Potluck Movie Nights. What does your club do to keep members involved during the chilly months?”
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