September 25, 2013
By Elizabeth A Tennyson
Pilots in Minnesota are celebrating the launch of a new statewide pilots association, and the group is already getting to work on issues that matter to their community.
The Minnesota Pilots Association opened its doors to members in September with a mission to promote and protect aviation in the state through advocacy, education, outreach, and social activities.
AOPA worked closely with the new association’s organizers, including President Randy Corfman, as they laid the groundwork for the group.
“We’re excited to see this idea become a reality,” said Bryan Budds, AOPA Great Lakes regional manager. “The Minnesota Pilots Association is already taking part in aviation events and collaborating with AOPA on local and national advocacy initiatives.”
Among the issues the two organizations are pursuing is the need for a Minnesota-based designated examiner for seaplane ratings. The Minnesota association is also planning its first annual conference, set for March 2014.
“Groups like this one are on the front lines of many local advocacy issues,” Budds said. “Who better to understand the challenges facing a state than the pilots who fly there? Local pilot organizations are valuable partners and allies for AOPA, and we’re looking forward to continuing a strong and productive relationship with the Minnesota Pilots Association.”
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 AOPA National Aviation Community Center hosted Paws and Planes, an event that showed kids flying for others – including our four-footed friends – can be rewarding and fun.
J. Reid Garrison, an airshow performer and formation pilot who has been part of the story line at the major aviation events, including Sun 'n Fun and EAA AirVenture, across the years, was recently inducted into the South Carolina Aviation Hall of Fame.
AOPA connected with hundreds of pilots, aircraft owners, and aviation enthusiasts during the thirty-second Northwest Aviation Conference held in Puyallup, Washington, Feb. 21 and 22.
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