September 20, 2013
By Elizabeth A Tennyson
General aviation has more friends in Congress than ever before, with membership in the House General Aviation Caucus reaching a record of 223. The number is significant because it marks the first time that more than half the members of the House have been part of the group.
The new House GA Caucus record was announced Sept. 20 by caucus co-chairs Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) and Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.). It represents an important milestone, helping ensure that GA issues are considered and understood by lawmakers.
“This is an important milestone and we are extremely pleased to see that so many members of the House are willing to engage on the issues that affect general aviation,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “These leaders recognize the importance of GA to our national transportation system and our economy. We especially appreciate the leadership of Congressmen Graves and Barrow. Without their active leadership, the caucus could not be so successful and far-reaching.”
Graves called the new record “a great victory for general aviation” adding, “education is key to our efforts to highlight the everyday concerns of America’s pilots, so having the majority of the House participating in the caucus is important.”
Barrow echoed those sentiments saying, “This is the largest, most bipartisan caucus in Congress, and I’m honored to join with my colleagues to continue to advocate for this industry.”
The Senate GA Caucus has also grown and now has 40 members.
Director of Government Affairs and Executive Communications Elizabeth Tennyson joined AOPA in 1998, the same year she earned her private pilot certificate. She also holds an instrument rating and enjoys jumping out of planes almost as much as flying them.
The Type Club Coalition is the latest group to join AOPA in urging a quick review of proposed reforms to the third class medical.
When it comes to celebrating aviation, the folks in Watsonville, California, don’t take a back seat to anyone.
Aerospace and defense giant Lockheed Martin stirred the pot with an Oct. 15 announcement that compact fusion could power vehicles, even aircraft, within a decade. Skeptics were quick to speak up, while Lockheed filed for patents and hopes to find partners in government, academia, and industry.
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