March 3, 2011
By Dan Namowitz
AOPA was on the scene once again at the Northwest Aviation Conference Feb. 26 and 27 in Puyallup, Wash., with AOPA President Craig Fuller urging pilots in his keynote address to Rally GA, and members taking opportunities to attend safety presentations and advocacy updates on issues of local, regional, and national interest.
Air Safety Institute Chief Flight Instructor JJ Greenway presented programs on two critical safety subjects: “Real World IFR (Find out how pilots who fly in all kinds of weather every day do it),” and “Close Calls: Lessons Learned”—a new safety seminar that features real pilots telling real stories about their experiences.
Participants heard an update on AOPA’s work with Washington state pilots to defeat the state’s efforts to impose excise taxes on aircraft. In January members were called to rally against the latest such legislative proposal, a tax of half a percent of an aircraft’s taxable value, eyed by some legislators to fund state healthcare spending. A previous excise tax bid failed in 2010. AOPA also discussed its continuing work with Washington’s Seaplane Pilots to preserve historical floatplane access to Ross Lake, where the National Park Service has proposed several alternatives for future public use under the Ross Lake National Recreation Area General Management Plan.
Also highlighting AOPA’s activity at the conference were an Airport Support Network (ASN) breakfast that brought together 30 ASN volunteers, and a meeting hosted by AOPA with presidents of state pilot associations from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
AOPA expressed concern in a meeting with town officials from East Hampton, New York, that restrictions proposed to curb airport noise “overwhelmingly” generated by transient commercial flights would unfairly burden traditional airport users.
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