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AOPA's Airport Support Network now has 1,000 volunteers defending general aviation airportsAOPA's Airport Support Network now has 1,000 volunteers defending general aviation airports

AOPA's Airport Support Network (ASN) reached an important milestone in August when its nationwide corps of ASN volunteers topped 1,000. An ASN volunteer is an AOPA member who has committed to supporting and defending a particular general aviation airport.

"The ASN program is proving to be extraordinarily effective in helping to save airports," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "The work of ASN Volunteer Robert "Bob" Walton, which led to the reopening of Plum Island Airport in Massachusetts, is but just one recent example."

In just four years of operation, the Airport Support Network program has enlisted a volunteer at about one in every five public-use airports in all 50 states.

Volunteers act as early warning monitors, alerting AOPA, local airport support groups, and airport management to potential problems. They also participate in activities that foster local understanding of the social and economic benefits airports bring to their communities.

The volunteers are in constant contact with AOPA, which provides guidance and support materials when problems or opportunities arise. AOPA has more than 60 years of experience in supporting and defending general aviation airports.

ASN volunteers can tap AOPA headquarters staff expertise on a vast range of questions such as airport noncompliance with FAA grant conditions, airport land-use and noise problems, and safety.

Pilots who attend this year's annual AOPA convention, Expo 2001, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, November 8-10, will have an eye-opening chance to learn more about the ASN volunteer program. An exciting, hour-long multimedia presentation will also showcase the many other ways AOPA works to preserve America's precious transportation resource.

This general session, sponsored by The New Piper Aircraft Inc. and open to all who attend Expo 2001, will show how AOPA goes about minimizing access restrictions, preventing unreasonable curfews, and avoiding excessive fees at GA airports.

To find out more about AOPA's Airport Support Network program, visit the Web site.

The 375,000-member Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association is the world's largest civil aviation organization. More than one half of the nation's pilots are AOPA members.

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