AOPA Regional Representative Jerry Hooper (center) and Bill Dunn (right) visit with Texas State Representative Rick Hardcastle, who sponsored a bill last session to protect airports from tall towers and to require cities to adopt protective zoning around airports.
AOPA this week told general aviation's story to people who can make a big difference—state legislators. AOPA took part in the annual three-day National Conference of State Legislators in San Antonio, Texas, August 13-15. The conference attracted some 7,500 lawmakers and their staffs from across the nation.
AOPA's impressive booth with the eye-catching headline, "Can you ignore $65 billion a year?" helped AOPA staff make the point that general aviation is vital to a state's economy.
"We told the legislators that general aviation should be viewed as a key component of a state's entire transportation system," said Bill Dunn, AOPA vice president for regional affairs. "Legislators should fund and protect GA airports for the good of their entire economy."
AOPA handed out a brochure reinforcing the importance of general aviation and reminding lawmakers that AOPA represents a large pilot constituency that is important to them and their states.
The AOPA representatives at the conference also told lawmakers that they could use AOPA as a key resource in developing policies and legislation to protect and promote general aviation.