AOPA President Phil Boyer concluded 2002's slate of 26 Pilot Town Meetings on November 14 with a very successful gathering in Denver, Colorado. Five hundred pilots turned out, bringing the total number of pilots attending PTMs this year to more than 8,200. That's 1,000 more than last year's record-setting attendance.
Since Boyer first "took the show on the road" over a decade ago, more than 61,000 pilots have participated in these sessions.
Pilot Town Meetings offer pilots and aircraft owners a lively forum for discussion of important general aviation issues with AOPA's president. Boyer uses a fast-paced computer presentation and video clips to keep the meetings entertaining.
"Pilot Town Meetings are one of the best ways for me and AOPA to know what's really on the minds of GA pilots," said Boyer. "And in this year of constant change since the September 11 terrorist attacks, they have allowed us to keep pilots up to date on airspace and regulatory changes. We've also been able to let them know about AOPA's efforts to protect general aviation from sometimes overzealous officials who vastly overestimate any security threat posed by GA."
Pilots also get to see what their fellow pilots are thinking. At each meeting, some 50 randomly selected pilots participate in a real-time electronic poll on a variety of issues. The audience sees the results of the polling projected immediately on the large presentation screen.
In 2003, AOPA Pilot Town Meetings are planned for 27 cities. The schedule for upcoming Pilot Town Meetings is available online. Pilot Town Meetings are also announced in ePilot, AOPA's weekly e-mail newsletter free to members, and in AOPA Pilot and AOPA Flight Training magazines.
AOPA Pilot Town Meetings are open to all pilots, and admission is free. Pilots in each local area will receive an invitation to attend by mail.
The 388,000-member Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association is the world's largest civil aviation organization. Nearly two thirds of the nation's pilots are AOPA members.