AOPA members continue to flood congressional offices with calls, urging lawmakers to help restore VFR flying privileges around Washington, D.C., New York, and 28 other metropolitan areas. By the end of the day on the East Coast, more than 12,000 pilots had "clicked through" the link in the special ePilot Legislative Alert in order to find out how to contact their representatives. Reports from Capitol Hill indicate that not only are the phones ringing constantly, but that Congress is also paying attention. One member reported that his representative had already contacted the National Security Council. Senator Hillary Clinton's office called AOPA for a list of the affected airports around New York.
An AOPA member e-mailed, "I called the offices of Senators Gramm and Hutchinson of Texas, and Rep. Ken Bentsen of the 25th District at lunch. Everyone was well aware of the call-in volume, everyone was very polite, and to my surprise, I suddenly felt very proud to be an American citizen. The constitutional privilege of 'petitioning for redress of grievances' never felt so real to me, since this was the first time I had taken advantage of that freedom."
Tomorrow, AOPA President Phil Boyer and AOPA's legislative affairs staff will begin a series of meetings with members of Congress to continue the efforts of all AOPA members to "free the GA 41,000."