April 30, 2009
By AOPA ePublishing staff
As part of its ongoing efforts to address general aviation issues at the state level, AOPA met with key transportation policy influencers last week at a national meeting of state legislators in Washington D.C.
At the 2009 Spring Forum meeting of the National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL) April 23 through 25, AOPA Manager of State Legislative Affairs Mark Kimberling met with state legislators and legislative staff from all over the country as they discussed their experience shaping public policy and crafting laws—many of which have a significant impact on the viability of GA.
“AOPA is very active at the state level in protecting GA—as we have already reviewed more than 1,000 GA-related bills in state legislatures in 2009, and have taken material action on several hundred of them,” Kimberling said. “Forums like the NCSL allow us to take a pro-active, national approach to educate state legislators about the important role of GA in order to prevent the introduction of misguided legislation that could have a negative impact on pilots and aircraft owners.” He added that the GA Serves America initiative will now be a key component of this effort at the state level.
GA has a number of key supporters in state legislatures across the country. Nevada State Sen. Dennis Nolan, who has worked with AOPA to fight a resolution that could ban any general aviation flight activity deemed “high risk” at North Las Vegas Airport, again teamed with the association to make sure the NCSL recognizes the importance of GA to the nation’s transportation system. Nolan, the chair of NCSL’s transportation committee, will help ensure that GA issues will be on the agenda for future meetings, including the Summer Summit—the largest gathering of state legislators each year.
A touch of history, affordable flying, unique sightseeing, a good meal, and a community of pilots: Isn’t that what general aviation is all about?
Getting the job done on the local and national levels requires long-term planning, a hands-on approach, and keeping the effort moving, said Sean Collins, AOPA’s Eastern regional manager.
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