April 26, 2011
By AOPA ePublishing staff
In the wake of the Los Angeles City Council’s decision to seek legislation to close flight schools at Santa Monica Municipal Airport and alter departure paths at the airport, AOPA President Craig Fuller met with the airport support group Friends of Santa Monica Airport on April 20.
Pilots volunteered to help support Santa Monica Municipal Airport.
“Santa Monica and this group represent the hope for general aviation,” Fuller told more than 100 group members at Santa Monica Aviation. “We will work with you, stand with you so that the airport will continue to function as is. When we fight hard, define clear objectives, and stand together, we will protect the freedom to fly.”
AOPA has worked to ward off many threats at Santa Monica Municipal Airport, including numerous environmental studies and attempts to ban Category C and D aircraft. The Friends of Santa Monica Airport group formed in 2010 to help build support for the facility and combat continued attacks.
Fuller shared steps that the group can take to help build support for the airport in the local area. Involving opinion leaders and educating the public on the value general aviation and the airport to Santa Monica and Southern California are critical, Fuller said. He also suggested the group host airport events to bring the community to the airport and encouraged building a support base through social media resources such as Facebook.
AOPA offers free online resources for pilots and airport support groups to use to promote their fields and demonstrate the value of their airport.
A new FAA policy on obstructive sleep apnea that addresses many of the concerns raised by AOPA is scheduled to take effect March 2.
AOPA and the National Business Aviation Association have jointly filed an amicus, or friend of the court, brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as part of the ongoing legal battle over the future of Santa Monica Municipal Airport.
AOPA worked with the flight training industry and FAA to quickly resolve a problem that suddenly put many rating applications on hold.
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