Airports an asset to communities

May 7, 2009

The challenges that face general aviation today—user fees, onerous security regulations, pressure to close airports, and the notion that small aircraft are toys for the rich—are all being driven by a misperception and a misunderstanding of the industry.

In order to protect this segment of aviation and airports, it’s important for the industry to work together, Andy Cebula, AOPA executive vice president of government affairs, told the Southeast Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives on May 5 in Reston, Va.

“We have this shared role in the future of protecting airports,” Cebula said of the importance of reaching out to the airport association. “It’s going to take all of us working together to correct this misperception of GA and protect our industry into the future.”

Cebula shared AOPA’s new educational initiative, the GA Serves America Campaign, with the group, reinforcing the important economic asset airports are to their communities. Airport property often is eyed as green space for development by growing communities, but airports bring in more dollars to the area than could be produced by residential housing, shopping malls, or hotels.