Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN)
Rep. Butch Otter (R-ID) and AOPA President Phil Boyer
Rep. James Hansen (R-UT), Phil Boyer, and Rep. Robin Hayes (R-NC)
AOPA Legislative Affairs staffer John Williams, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), and Rep. Hayes (seated)
Rep. Issa and AOPA Legislative Affairs Senior Vice President Bill Deere
AOPA President Phil Boyer hosted the annual "Pilot Town Meeting" on Capitol Hill today. More than 20 senators, congressmen, and staff attended the annual non-political event, including Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Ted Stevens and House Resources Committee Chairman James Hansen.
"I know it's not easy for members of Congress to attend AOPA's Pilot Town Meetings with their busy schedules, which is why I like to have this special meeting for them," said Boyer. "It gives key decision makers in Congress the opportunity to see the latest advances in navigation technology that have been brought to general aviation."
The Congressional Pilot Town Meeting provided an opportunity for members of Congress to interact with their fellow colleagues. The meeting focused on the new technology that has been brought to the general aviation cockpit with the latest in electronic chart depiction (including approach charts) and collision avoidance.
Perhaps the most popular display at the meeting was the flight simulator. Under the guidance of an AOPA staffer, several members of Congress and staff practiced an ILS approach to Runway 23 at AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Maryland, using the Elite PCATD personal flight simulator with control wheel, rudder pedals, and avionics package.
A new display at this year's meeting was the Air Safety Foundation's Runway Safety program, an online training tool that teaches pilots about operations at busy airports. The interactive training course is available free to all pilots.
Also demonstrated were the Garmin GNS 530 GPS/Nav/Comm/ILS with color moving map and the handheld Garmin 295 Color VFR GPS and the UPS Aviation Technologies MX20 multifunction display, set up to simulate the Capstone program now being tested in Alaska.
AOPA's Capitol Hill Pilot Town Meeting is an annual event in Washington, D.C.