Baker, Pelton lead expanded collaboration effort

December 17, 2013

AOPA and EAA leaders meet to collaborate on advocacy issues and events in 2014.

AOPA President Mark Baker and Experimental Aircraft Association Chairman Jack Pelton pledged to work more closely on a range of issues during a Dec. 16 meeting at EAA headquarters in Oshkosh, Wis. The meeting, which was organized to expand on collaborative efforts begun in recent years, focused on opportunities to help support and grow the general aviation community.

Sixteen leaders from AOPA and EAA discussed issues including advocacy, outreach, events, and youth programs.

Baker and Pelton used the opportunity to review strategies for a variety of scenarios that could unfold as lawmakers work toward agreement on a 2014 federal budget. Both leaders agreed to ask members to take action in support of two critical pieces of legislation now in Congress—the General Aviation Pilot Protection Act, which would greatly expand the driver’s license medical standard, and a second bill that would stop implementation of the FAA’s new sleep apnea policy and force the agency to go through the rulemaking process.

Other key advocacy issues on the table were the transition to unleaded avgas, making the most of aircraft certification reforms, and FAA funding.

“AOPA and EAA are organizations with a long history of general aviation advocacy. We both want to ensure a strong future for GA, so it’s only natural that we find ways to collaborate on projects that will help the industry grow and thrive,” said Baker. “This meeting is just the first step in what I hope will be a fruitful partnership that will benefit the members of both associations.”

During the meeting, the two organizations pledged to support each other’s events and outreach activities, with AOPA expanding its presence at AirVenture and EAA participating in AOPA’s six regional fly-ins in 2014. The groups also agreed to find ways to work together on their Young Eagles and AV8RS youth programs.