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Tom Weil honored for efforts on behalf of Calif. airportsTom Weil honored for efforts on behalf of Calif. airports

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Tom Weil and AOPA President Phil Boyer

Tom Weil is the 2003 recipient of the Joseph P. Crotti Award for General Aviation Advocacy in California. AOPA President Phil Boyer made the presentation last night at a Pilot Town Meeting in Sacramento, California.

"When California's budget crunch threatened the state's aviation fund, Tom stepped forward and took a leadership role in protecting California's airports," said Boyer. "Working with AOPA Regional Representative John Pfeifer, Tom is leading the ongoing campaign to prevent state legislators from diverting more than $5 million out of the aviation fund."

While California's continuing budget problems mean state airport funding is still threatened, Pfeifer says Weil's leadership has already produced a number of significant benefits: AOPA and the Association of California Airports (ACA) now have friendly relations with many legislators and their staff members; ACA has established a good working relationship with the California League of Cities and is already exploring ways for the two organizations to provide mutual support in the state legislature; and the entire membership of ACA has been made aware of and become much more active in the legislative process.

The Crotti Award cites Weil for "extraordinary advocacy and leadership in the preservation of general aviation funds during the 2002-2003 California budget crisis."

"Tom Weil and others like him all over the country who are willing to protect GA's interests at the state and local level truly make AOPA's job easier," said Boyer. "Working together from both the grass-roots and national levels, we've got both the resources and the local voices to head off efforts to gut aviation funding."

Weil is the airport manager at California City Municipal Airport (L71) and a member of the board of directors for ACA.

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