AOPA President Phil Boyer was named an honorary member of the International Comanche Society last night. ICS President David Buttle made the presentation in recognition of the "fine work AOPA is doing on behalf of all GA aircraft types." Boyer was a featured speaker at the ICS 2001 convention in Detroit, Michigan. Boyer briefed the group on changes in Washington and on AOPA's continuing work in the nation's capital.
He gave an update on the battle to save Meigs Field airport, telling convention attendees that he recently had a one-on-one meeting with Secretary of Transportation Norm Minetta to ask for his support for Meigs. He also noted that the announcement this week from Illinois Governor James Ryan that he would not seek reelection was a positive note for Meigs. Ryan has already said he will encourage Chicago Mayor Richard Daley to keep Meigs open. With reelection pressures removed, Ryan now has more room to negotiate a comprehensive airport plan with Daley.
Boyer's speech was part of the five-day ICS convention that attracted attendees from around the world. (ICS outgoing President David Buttle lives just outside London. He and his wife flew to Detroit in their Twin Comanche—his fourth Atlantic crossing.) The convention offered a wide range of social and educational activities, including AOPA Air Safety Foundation safety seminars.
Boyer spoke during an ICS dinner held in the Yankee Air Museum hangar on the hottest night of the year in Detroit. The museum's B-17 provided rides for some attendees, then taxied nose-up into the front of the hangar. With the B-17 parked beside a pristine Comanche and a DC-3 nearby, dinner attendees enjoyed an aviator décor of real aircraft.
With sweat falling from his face from the 100-plus-degree temperature in the hangar, Boyer ended his remarks by telling the audience, "Please don't tell your fellow ICS members that I gave a real cool keynote speech Thursday night!"