Delegates to the twenty-first World Assembly of the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA) will face significantly greater challenges than when they last met in 2000. Worldwide aviation security as it relates to general aviation/aerial work (GA/AW) in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks will be one of the main topics when the assembly convenes in Sao Paolo, Brazil, on September 30, 2002.
IAOPA is the umbrella organization for 56 AOPA organizations around the world.
"The aviation world has changed drastically since IAOPA held its last assembly," said IAOPA President Phil Boyer. "Even though it was passenger airliners, not GA/AW aircraft, which were used in the attacks, air carriers are still viewed as a public convenience. GA/AW, on the other hand, is looked at with suspicion and even outright hostility.
"In the wake of last September's terrorist attacks, we all understand the need for heightened security, but we've got to work together to make sure security measures are equitable. And we've got to do a better job convincing the public that GA/AW is not a threat."
Every two years board members of the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations and interested parties meet to evaluate the state of world general aviation and aerial work activities and to plan future courses of action. International delegates to this year's World Assembly will participate in a wide range of discussions of importance to GA/AW pilots, including air traffic services, airport and airspace access, aviation security, and pilot certification.
They will also still face many of the same challenges they did when they last convened in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 2000. Many budget-strapped governments either have switched or are contemplating a switch to "privatized" or "corporatized" air traffic control systems. Recent experiences suggest less than satisfactory results.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration continues to explore performance-based alternatives to the current air traffic system. FAA Associate Administrator Steve Brown is scheduled to address the delegates on air traffic service performance measures on the second day of the assembly.
The World Assembly will be held at Morumbi Blue Tree Towers Hotel in Sao Paulo, Brazil. A number of touring events at nearby attractions are planned for delegates and their guests.
All interested parties are invited to join with IAOPA delegates in the World Assembly public sessions to learn about the future direction of worldwide general aviation and aerial work.
IAOPA represents the interests of AOPA affiliates in 56 countries of the world, comprising more than 450,000 general aviation and aerial work pilots and aircraft operators. The council was formed in 1962 to provide a voice for general aviation in world aviation forums. For more information, visit the Web site.