A number of issues affecting general aviation are scheduled for hearings on Capitol Hill this week, and AOPA staff members are there, making sure pilots know what's going on, and that members of Congress know what's on the mind of pilots.
AOPA's Legislative Affairs office is a stone's throw from the U.S. Capitol building, staffed by five specialists in congressional affairs. AOPA is the only aviation membership organization to devote this level of resources to Congress. The legislative affairs staff regularly attends hearings on issues related to aviation and routinely meets with members of Congress to address their concerns about general aviation matters, and to educate the members when there is a misunderstanding.
This week alone, AOPA Vice President of Legislative Affairs Julia Krauss and her staff will attend Senate hearings on air safety and capacity funding issues, fake or fraudulent driver's licenses (AOPA is urging the FAA to require pilots to carry government-issued photo IDs such as driver's licenses), and a bill to keep Chicago's Meigs Field open while expanding O'Hare International and building a new airport in Peotone, Illinois.
On the House side, AOPA staffers will attend a hearing on funding for the Transportation Safety Administration, and another looking at federal assistance for building new control towers as well as the National Transportation Safety Board's reauthorization.