AOPA ‘rallies the troops’ for airport support

August 4, 2010

AOPA Airport Support Network volunteers are on the front lines of airport protection, acting as AOPA’s eyes and ears to alert the association of challenges facing public-use airports. AOPA President Craig Fuller commended the volunteers for their work at the annual network breakfast at EAA AirVenture July 30.

The breakfast had record attendance this year with more than 100 attendees, including 69 volunteers and guests. Fuller explained AOPA’s work at association headquarters and praised the volunteers for the work they do at the local level. The volunteers also heard from AOPA airports staff about ongoing efforts and resources available to volunteers.

“Airport Support Network volunteers play an important role in ensuring that we all continue to have access to the nation’s airports,” said AOPA Airport Support Network Director Joey Colleran. “Events such as AirVenture, Sun ‘n Fun, and our own AOPA Aviation Summit provide great opportunities to gather ASN volunteers together to thank them and update them on our work and the resources available to them.”

Colleran hosted the event with AOPA Vice President of Airports and State Advocacy Greg Pecoraro. Colleran and Pecoraro discussed the launch of the Airport Support Network electronic newsletter Hangar Talk, the first network Webinar (log in to watch the archived version online or view the slides), and the online orientation course for new volunteers. The network’s online resources are available to all.

The volunteers also learned about common issues and developments at other airports, such as the approval of an updated Airport Layout Plan for Venice Municipal Airport on Florida’s Gulf Coast— a significant step forward in addressing controversy regarding the master plan. AOPA is also increasing its involvement in preserving backcountry strips; while much of the aviation community gathered in Oshkosh, Wis., for AirVenture, AOPA Manager of Airports John Collins was in Washington, D.C., for a U.S. Forest Service planning meeting to help ensure that aviation access to remote areas is preserved.

Looking ahead, Colleran said volunteers can expect to see updates to the resource kit and website, as well as additional mini-Webinars, a volunteer recruitment campaign, and a free one-day pass to AOPA Aviation Summit for Airport Support Network volunteers. Summit takes place Nov. 11 through 13 in Long Beach, Calif.