The Civil Air Patrol, the civilian auxiliary for the U.S. Air Force, recognized the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association with a special appreciation award October 26.
On behalf of CAP's 61,000 members, Brigadier General Richard L. Bowling, CAP national commander, presented the award to Phil Boyer, AOPA president, during AOPA Expo 2002 in Palm Springs, California.
Bowling applauded AOPA's staunch support of general aviation following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11. "AOPA played a key role in keeping non-military pilots informed after restrictions were suddenly placed on aircraft following the attacks," Bowling said.
"The Civil Air Patrol is chartered by Congress to support civil aviation, and AOPA is a significant partner in CAP's ability to provide such support," he continued. "In the post-9/11 world of general aviation, CAP pilot members have depended a great deal on AOPA's efforts to disseminate accurate information as the new rules of airspace restrictions were defined and frequently changed.
"We believe CAP could not have done its job as effectively without AOPA's leadership."
Boyer accepted the award during the AOPA Expo Grand Finale Banquet in the Wyndham Hotel ballroom.
"On behalf of the over 387,000 AOPA pilot/members and the dedicated staff of AOPA, we are most honored to accept this recognition," said Boyer. "Many don't realize that following the 9/11 tragedy, some of the first planes flying were those of the Civil Air Patrol. When our nation has faced national security concerns as it does now or it did in World War II, the CAP has been an effective part of the solution."
The Civil Air Patrol, the official Air Force auxiliary, is a nonprofit organization with over 61,000 members nationwide. It performs more than 85 percent of inland search-and-rescue missions tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center in the continental United States. Volunteers also take a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to the over 25,000 young people currently participating in CAP cadet programs.
With more than 387,000 members, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association is the world's largest civil aviation organization, working to protect the interests of general aviation. Nearly two thirds of all U.S. pilots are AOPA members.