March 4, 2003
Members of the General Aviation Coalition (GAC), including AOPA and representing virtually every aspect of general aviation, are calling on President Bush to speak out against Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley's destruction of Merrill C. Meigs Field and take steps to prevent any similar local action in other communities.
In a joint letter to the President, GAC members said, "We are concerned about who is responsible for decisions affecting national security. The general aviation community...is shocked and outraged that a mayor, using the pretext of national security, can destroy a national asset, create a significant safety risk and reduce capacity in an area already faced with significant aviation congestion."
"Working with the GAC is just one of the fronts on which AOPA plans to fight the Meigs closure," said AOPA President Phil Boyer.
The GAC letter asks Mr. Bush to "reaffirm federal authority over security matters affecting the nation's air transportation system." The GAC leaders say Daley's destruction of the runway at Meigs is akin to a mayor destroying on- and off-ramps to the federal interstate highways because of the possible threat of a truck bomb.
"Elevating the importance of our national system of airports to that of our national system of highways will send a clear signal to those who would justify their actions in the name of homeland protection. No local official should be allowed to damage unilaterally the national aviation system as was demonstrated on Monday."
The letter concludes, "Please do not stand idly by as our nation's airports and airspace face a patchwork of restrictions and closures via local and state power grabs."
Members of the General Aviation Coalition signing the letter included AOPA, the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), the Helicopter Association International (HAI), the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA).
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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