National Aeronautic Association President Donald J. Koranda presents Tissandier Diploma to AOPA President Phil Boyer.
More than a year after the September 11 terrorist attacks, AOPA and association President Phil Boyer continue to receive honors from fellow aviators for efforts to protect general aviation.
Both the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) and the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) praised Boyer for mounting and leading a vigorous defense when general aviation came under harsh scrutiny after September 11, 2001.
"On behalf of the over 387,000 AOPA pilot-members and the dedicated staff of AOPA, I am most honored to accept these honors," said Boyer. "Throughout its 63-year history, AOPA has sought to shield general aviation from government overreaction and restriction by offering reasoned, informed explanations about the important role GA plays in our country."
At the Grand Finale Banquet concluding AOPA Expo 2002, Brigadier General Richard L. Bowling, national commander of the Civil Air Patrol, presented Boyer with a statue of a flying eagle clutching an American flag in its talons.
"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. 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."
The Civil Air Patrol is the civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force. Its 61,000 volunteer members conduct 85 percent of the search-and-rescue missions conducted annually in the United States.
Just before arriving at AOPA Expo, Boyer received a Paul Tissandier Diploma from FAI during an awards banquet held at the National Aeronautic Association. In presenting the award, NAA President Donald J. Koranda cited Boyer's "years of service as an advocate on behalf of the general aviation community."
Tissandier diplomas are awarded annually by the International Aeronautic Federation "to those who have served the cause of Aviation in general, and Sporting Aviation in particular, by their work, initiative, and devotion." Previous recipients have included famed pilots such as Jackie Cochran and Bob Hoover, Piper Aircraft founder William T. Piper, and former FAA Administrator and AOPA Air Safety Foundation President Donald Engen.