During last night's Pilot Town Meeting in Detroit, AOPA President Phil Boyer paid tribute to William Gehman, retiring director of Michigan's Bureau of Aeronautics.
In presenting the award, Boyer said, "Through his dedicated service to Michigan's aviation community, Bill has earned the respect and appreciation of everyone in the state's aviation system." During his tenure, Gehman has been responsible for one of the most aggressive general aviation airport preservation programs in the country.
He has initiated the All Weather Airport Access program to bring instrument approaches to all of the state's public-use airports. And he's overseen expansion of the state's airport development program, which has tripled its annual spending for airport capital improvements from $40 million to $120 million.
Gehman has worked in aviation for nearly 40 years, the last 17 of them as director of the Bureau of Aeronautics in the Michigan Department of Transportation.
The citation presented last night notes Gehman's lifetime of service to Michigan pilots and aviation. It read in part, "The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association gratefully acknowledges your efforts on behalf of Michigan's pilots and commends you for more than three decades of service to aviation."