New foundation to address critical GA issues

August 11, 2008

AOPA Foundation

AOPA President Phil Boyer on Nov. 8 unveiled the cornerstone of an ambitious plan to preserve and promote general aviation in the United States—the AOPA Foundation.

“The AOPA Foundation was created to address several burning issues impacting general aviation now and into the future,” Boyer said during Expo’s Saturday general session.

“The challenges facing today’s aircraft owners and pilots are growing ever more complex. Airspace, the environment, security, airport closures, licensing and medical certification, insurance, maintenance, and a host of other issues all existed in the past, but have escalated exponentially in the last decade,” he continued. “The AOPA Foundation is committed to funding charitable and educational efforts to support Americans’ freedom to fly and build a legacy for the future of general aviation.”

Approved by the AOPA Board of Trustees and the AOPA Air Safety Foundation Board of Visitors, the AOPA Foundation is established as a 501(c)3 charitable organization.

Recognizing the need to be proactive now to ensure a healthy future for general aviation, the AOPA Foundation has kicked-off a $58 million capital campaign called “The Campaign for General Aviation—Our Freedom To Fly.” Long-time AOPA Board of Trustees member Thomas W. Haas has been named national campaign chairman.

The Board has identified four key initiatives that will be the focus of the campaign’s fund-raising efforts.

  • Educating the public on the benefits of general aviation
  • Preserving and improving America’s community airports
  • Further improving GA’s safety record through pilot education
  • Encouraging more individuals to learn to fly

“Never before has anyone in general aviation made such a bold commitment to the future of the of an aviation sector so vital to America’s economy and our way of life,” said Boyer.

Incoming AOPA President Craig Fuller, who will take the left seat of the organization on Jan. 1 and carry the initiatives forward, said, “Seven out of every 10 pilots in America are members of AOPA. Through their support and those of individual pilot-philanthropists, the campaign provides an opportunity to ensure that the environment surrounding general aviation will be secured for the future.”