April 24, 2012
By Dan Namowitz
Aviation needs a strong voice in speaking to government officials to ensure that general aviation’s needs are known—but sometimes it’s the one-on-one approach that gets the job done.
With that as their goal, AOPA Vice President of Airport Advocacy Bill Dunn and Great Lakes Regional Manager Bryan Budds joined Ohio pilots, FAA representatives, and state transportation and airport officials in Columbus for the Ohio Aviation Association’s 2012 annual conference in Columbus April 17 and 18.
In a keynote address, Dunn brought the audience up to date on a wide range of issues that affect Ohio’s pilots—who include about 12,530 AOPA members—in 2012.
“State aviation conferences provide us with an exceptional opportunity to renew existing relationships, and communicate with key officials in a face-to-face manner,” said Dunn.
In his prepared remarks, Dunn provided updates on issues such as airport improvement and other FAA programs, including alternative aviation fuels research. Dunn reviewed the work of the AOPA Airport Support Network program, which relies on the frontline work of local volunteers to bring issues in need of action at their airports to light.
He also discussed individual Ohio airport issues in the state, and met with the FAA Detroit, Mich., Airports District Office staff, and the Ohio State Aviation director. Dunn and Budds also met with individual AOPA members.
Attending regional and state conferences can be a key ingredient in the association’s efforts to advance the cause and concerns of the GA community, he said. The sessions provide AOPA with the opportunity to meet with a wide range of individuals who have an impact on general aviation including airport managers, local FAA staff, aviation consultants, pilots, and state officials.
“Members should know that AOPA takes their concerns and interests to key decision makers in person,” Dunn said. “At this conference, we had an opportunity to present our position and issues of importance to a large group of decision leaders at one time.”
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