Local airport advocacy is key, California pilots learn

June 4, 2009

at Van Nuys airport Left to Right: Melissa Rudinger, AOPA vice president and assistant to the president; Elliot Sanders, president of the Van Nuys Propeller Association and member of the AOPA Airport Support Network Board of Advisers; and Bill Dunn, AOPA vice president of local airport advocacy.

Local pilots are the most effective airport advocates, said, Bill Dunn, AOPA’s vice president of local airport advocacy, at the Van Nuys Propeller Association’s annual meeting this week.

The propeller association was formed to protect the interests of piston operators at the heavily jet-centric airport. Dunn told the audience of 250 that, “airport advocacy is a team effort—a strong local organization partnering with local pilots.” He provided a brief overview of AOPA’s airport advocacy efforts in California, as well as a national perspective, telling local pilots that the issues they face at Van Nuys are no different than those faced by pilots at airports nationwide.

“The future of our airports and our industry rests in the hands of each and every one of us. Be aware of the issues and become involved,” he said.

Melissa Rudinger, AOPA’s vice president and assistant to the president, also spoke at the meeting to give those in attendance the important updates on AOPA’s GA Serves America campaign. She encouraged audience members to sign-up on the GA Serves America Web site and become actively involved in the campaign.

Rudinger said, “This is the most significant public outreach campaign ever undertaken by AOPA in support of general aviation, and we need the help of every pilot here tonight.”

Ian J. Twombly

Ian J. Twombly | "Flight Training" Editor

Flight Training Editor Ian J. Twombly joined AOPA in 2003 and is an instrument flight instructor.