October 1, 2003
The Honorable Norman Y. Mineta Secretary Of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation 400 7th Street, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20590
Dear Secretary Mineta,
The 400,000 members of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) have a vested interest in both the day-to-day activities and the future plans for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Certainly this is not news to you because of your long relationship with AOPA during your tenure as an aviation policy maker in the nation's capital. That is why I was surprised and disappointed with last week's announcement on the six new members of the FAA Management Advisory Council (MAC). Each of the appointees has impressive backgrounds; however, none of them have strong connections to the general aviation community.
As the FAA looks to plan for the next century, general aviation must have better representation on the MAC. The agency's 2004-2008 Flight Plan acknowledges that the FAA is at a crossroad, and I would anticipate that the MAC would provide the FAA with ideas that will lead them in the twenty-first century.
Without a doubt, general aviation can contribute greatly to the Management Advisory Council. So far, only one member of the 18-member council has ties to the general aviation community, and that is from the manufacturing industry, not the consumer, pilot, or owner. My request to you is that future appointments include individuals who are from the general aviation community.
In a year celebrating the first century of powered flight as we look to the next, it is important that every segment of the aviation community be involved in planning for the future.
cc: Marion Blakey, FAA Administrator
October 1, 2003
Department of Transportation,
Environmental groups are asking the EPA to take another look at avgas even as a government-industry program moves closer to finding unleaded alternatives.
A father and his 14-year-old son were helping another pilot ferry a newly purchased aircraft from California to their home field in Virginia. The three made an overnight stop in Albuquerque before flying on to Illinois for fuel. But shortly after they parked the aircraft in Marion, Ill., they were approached by as many as 18 uniformed and non-uniformed law enforcement officers who came running toward the airplane.
The vanishing of five U.S. Navy aircraft in 1945 remains one of the legendary mysteries of aviation, one that may soon be solved.
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