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AOPA honors South Carolina State Senator Phil LeventisAOPA honors South Carolina State Senator Phil Leventis

<BR><SPAN class=twodeck>Lifelong advocate for S.C. aviators</SPAN><BR><SPAN class=twodeck>Lifelong advocate for S.C. aviators</SPAN>

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Senator Leventis and AOPA President Phil Boyer

During a Pilot Town Meeting in Charlotte, N.C., last night, AOPA President Phil Boyer presented South Carolina State Senator Phil P. Leventis (D-35th Dist.) with a Presidential Citation honoring him for years of work on behalf of aviation in South Carolina.

"Senator Leventis has consistently looked out for pilots in South Carolina, even to the point of fighting losing battles if he was convinced it was in the best interest of aviation," said Boyer. "But he has won far more battles than he's lost, and AOPA is proud to have him as an ally."

Senator Leventis is a retired general in the South Carolina Air National Guard. During the Persian Gulf War, he volunteered for active duty and flew multiple missions over Iraq and Kuwait, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross, among other military honors. He has served in the South Carolina Senate since 1981. He was instrumental in passing a $3 million airport bond issue in 1998, dedicated airport funding in 2000, and the appointment of a new state Aeronautics Advisory Board in 2002. He is currently working on aircraft personal property tax reform with the South Carolina Aviation Association.

The citation honoring Senator Leventis says, in part, "In recognition of your consistent, successful efforts to enhance the South Carolina airport system.... Tenacious advocacy for economic development through airport funding and aircraft personal property tax reform.... The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association gratefully acknowledges your major contribution to general aviation in the Palmetto State."

Senator Leventis is from Sumter, S.C., and is the president and general manager of the Dixie Beverage Company. He is married and the father of four children.

AOPA is the world's largest civil aviation organization, with more than 382,000 members. The association represents the interests of general aviation aircraft owners and pilots. Some two thirds of all U.S. pilots are members.

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