September 25, 2008
AOPA ePublishing staff
General aviation is vital to New Jersey’s prosperity, and lawmakers should do all they can to keep fuel prices affordable, protect GA airports from encroachment, and take advantage of existing laws designed to protect privately owned fields. That was the message AOPA delivered to the New Jersey Assembly’s Committee on Transportation during a Sept. 24 hearing about GA in the state.
AOPA Vice President of Regional Affairs Greg Pecoraro was joined by AOPA Eastern Regional Representative Greg Winton and several leaders of the New Jersey aviation community as he testified before the committee.
In his testimony, Pecoraro urged lawmakers not to raise aviation fuel taxes, to prevent incompatible development around airports, and to fully utilize existing airport rights development legislation that allows the Commissioner of Transportation to purchase the development rights at GA airports. That law was put in place to protect privately owned fields that aren’t subject to federal grant assurances.
Noting that New Jersey has an unusually high percent of privately owned airports, Pecoraro also emphasized the importance of preventing local communities from using eminent domain proceedings to seize airport property and ultimately close the airport.
Lawmakers also posed questions, asking about AOPA’s Airport Watch program and the role of GA in public safety and emergency management.
“There are some 2.5 million GA operations in New Jersey each year, bringing tremendous value to the state’s economy,” Pecoraro said. “We want to work in partnership with lawmakers to help GA thrive despite the pressures faced by airports and operators.”
The next stop is Putrajaya, Malaysia, on May 17 and 18 for the 2014 Red Bill Air Race World Championship, following an “electrifying” contest in Rovinj, Croatia.
AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg talks with AOPA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Advocacy Jim Coon on his first 100 days and the top advocacy issues confronting AOPA.
VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN NEAR YOU!
SHARE YOUR PASSION. VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN.
VOLUNTEER LOCALLY AT AOPA FLY-IN!
BE A PART OF THE FLY-IN VOLUNTEER CREW!