February 12, 2010
By Sarah Brown
Rep. Vernon J. Ehlers (R-Mich.), co-founder of the House General Aviation Caucus and longtime supporter of GA, announced Feb. 10 that he will leave Congress at the end of his current term.
The nine-term congressman and pilot sits on the House aviation subcommittee and has spoken out for GA on a range of issues, from security to user fees. He founded the GA Caucus in 2009 with fellow congressman Allen Boyd (D-Fla.), and AOPA recognized the two men for this effort to educate their colleagues about the value of GA by giving them the Joseph B. “Doc” Hartranft Award.
“We are sorry to be losing such a dedicated congressman and devoted voice for general aviation on the Hill,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. “We are grateful for Congressman Ehlers’ leadership on behalf of the GA community, and we will work hard to ensure that his successor, and all newly elected representatives, understand the true value of GA for all Americans.”
While Ehlers will not return to Congress in January 2011, his legacy for GA will remain. The GA Caucus has now grown to more than 100 members, and support for GA in the House has been growing.
“Congressman Ehlers has been a true champion of GA in Congress,” said AOPA Vice President of Legislative Affairs Lorraine Howerton. “His knowledge and support of the GA community has been instrumental in making progress on key initiatives affecting the industry. We thank him for his support and hard work on behalf of GA, and wish him well in the future.”
Watch Ehlers discuss the caucus with AOPA President Craig Fuller on AOPA Live.
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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