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AOPA Online's Press Center: A reporter's best source for general aviation information and answersAOPA Online's Press Center: A reporter's best source for general aviation information and answers

The Press Center at AOPA Online offers reporters and editors covering general aviation news a "one-stop shopping" source of information. The site offers everything from a library of AOPA press releases, many including high-resolution images, to statistical information, to a guide to covering an aviation accident.

AOPA press releases are catalogued by year. Within each year, releases are listed in reverse chronological order. Releases with associated images have a camera icon in the "Photo" column. Clicking on the camera accesses a high-resolution version of the image that can be saved to a local computer drive for later publication.

Under the "Information" heading, reporters and editors can link to media resources at the GA Serving America Web site, which help explain general aviation in laymen's terms. They also have access to AOPA Air Safety Foundation statistics and reports on general aviation safety (87 percent reduction in accidents per 100,000 flying hours since ASF's creation in 1950); to Safety Advisor educational materials on everything from operating in the National Airspace System to using GPS navigation systems, to operating at both towered and nontowered airports; and to numerous other ASF safety-related information.

As with any specialized endeavor, aviation has its own jargon. So to help those unfamiliar with aviation, there is an "ABCs of Aviation," which is essentially an aviation-to-English translation dictionary.

Reporters and editors can also access AOPA's Airport Directory Online, with extensive information on the 5,400 public-use airports in the United States. The entries contain everything from basic airport information, such as field elevation and airport coordinates, to communications and navigation frequencies, as well as ground services available. Many of the entries include runway diagrams.

The AOPA Online Press Center also contains links to other sources of information, including government agencies such as the FAA and NTSB, other industry organizations, and safety organizations. Many of the resources available in the Press Center are available to any visitor to the site, but some require registration by a bona fide member of the news media. Registration is quick, free, and confidential.

To visit the AOPA Online Press Center for the first time, simply go to www.aopa.org and select "Press Center" at the bottom of the menu on the left. For access to the "registration required" areas, click on one of the registration links and provide the requested information.

With more than 385,000 members, AOPA is the world's largest civil aviation organization. Its membership represents some two thirds of all U.S. pilots. As such, AOPA remains one of the best sources for information on anything related to general aviation.

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