October 22, 2008
By Elizabeth A Tennyson
No one understands general aviation better than the world’s largest GA association. That’s why 34 delegates from China’s Air Traffic Services visited AOPA headquarters to learn more about how general aviation operates in the United States.
Of particular interest to the delegates, who met with numerous AOPA staff members, was the concept of “free” airspace.
“While most U.S. airspace is open to civil aviation, the situation is reversed in China,” explained Randy Kenagy, AOPA government affairs chief of staff. “That gives U.S. pilots an unequaled level of freedom and serves as a great example to leaders in other countries who want develop a robust network of airports and a healthy GA industry.”
During their Oct. 16 visit, the Chinese delegates had the opportunity to hear from AOPA’s experts on key issues, including GA access to airspace and airports, user fees, availability of weather services, and emerging technologies. The highlight of their day was a discovery flight in a general aviation aircraft with an AOPA staff member.
The group will spend about three months in the United States, training and studying GA before returning to China.
Director of Government Affairs and Executive Communications Elizabeth Tennyson joined AOPA in 1998, the same year she earned her private pilot certificate. She also holds an instrument rating and enjoys jumping out of planes almost as much as flying them.
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