AOPA participates in Southern region legislative events

Events held in Georgia, Tennessee

February 25, 2014

AOPA Southern Regional Manager Bob Minter participated in a series of events in Tennessee and Georgia as part of an ongoing effort to build awareness of general aviation and the value of GA airports with state governments.

Minter and AOPA partnered with the Georgia Economic Development Department’s Center for Innovation in Aerospace on a successful legislative breakfast at Georgia’s Capitol Feb. 4. He also partnered with the Tennessee Aviation Association (TAA) for the second annual aviation appreciation legislative breakfast at the state Capitol in Nashville on Feb. 18.

At both events, legislators and staff met over a continental breakfast with aviation advocates, providing excellent opportunities to meet informally to discuss issues that are being considered during the current legislative session.

AOPA is concerned about restoring adequate state funding to Georgia’s airports system. “We are also supporting a measure that will limit private landowner’s liability if they own a private airfield and allow access to it for other aviators,” said Minter. “We are working with the Recreational Aviation Foundation in Georgia and South Carolina, which both have bills in their legislatures addressing limiting landowner liability connected to the use of private airfields.”

For the Georgia event Minter invited AOPA member and RAF liaison Eric Davis and AOPA member Jackie Feckoury to attend to discuss the bill with state Sen. Bill Heath, a pilot and aircraft owner. “This resulted in significant activity surrounding our bill after meeting with our bill sponsor,” he said.

After the Tennessee event, Minter and the Tennessee Aviation Association leadership met with state officials at the state Department of Economic and Community Development and Department of Tourism to explore potential partnership opportunities involving the state’s general aviation airports.

“By attending these events and partnering with other aviation organizations, AOPA continues to work close to home for our members on issues that affect them directly,” said Minter. “We are successful at the state level because of our ongoing relationship-building efforts with state and local legislators.”