AOPA's longtime Northwest Regional Representative, Ray Costello, was honored with a special Distinguished Service Award during the annual meeting of the AOPA Board of Trustees this weekend. Costello is retiring after 16 years representing AOPA in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska.
AOPA President Phil Boyer, who made the presentation in the AOPA Founder's Room at the Philadelphia Aviation Country Club at Wings Field (where AOPA was founded in 1939), cited Costello for his "outstanding commitment to excellence in public service." As an AOPA regional representative, Costello is credited with numerous victories for general aviation, including influencing the creation of an independent Department of Aeronautics in Oregon and working to unite various aviation organizations in Alaska to be more effective advocates for general aviation.
Costello had previously served as the director of planning for the Oregon Aeronautics Division, following a career with the U.S. Air Force.
AOPA's 12 regional representatives are involved with local, state, and regional aviation and airport issues on behalf of AOPA members. The representatives are particularly concerned with influencing state legislative policies for the benefit of general aviation.