With the reelection of President Bush, there will likely be continuity in the aviation policies with which AOPA has worked for the past four years.
That continuity helps foster increased effectiveness in the relationships AOPA has forged at all levels of key regulatory agencies. To achieve those results, AOPA has a headquarters staff that includes 16 technical experts dedicated to working closely with those who develop the regulatory policies that affect pilots and their aircraft. Those relationships help ensure that regulators understand the impact their decisions have on the general aviation community.
While many of the appointed officials that AOPA has come to know (and has educated about general aviation) will remain in place, new faces may be added as well.
A number of cabinet-level officials, including Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, have indicated that they may step down, opening the way for new appointees in these key positions. Should that occur, AOPA is well prepared to work with new cabinet members, as it has done for the past 65 years through 16 administrations, to ensure that these important officials understand and appreciate the role and value of general aviation.
In fact, AOPA President Phil Boyer has worked effectively with three heads, nine secretaries of transportation, and far more FAA administrators in his nearly 15 years at the association's helm.
The FAA's aggressive action to enforce federal grant obligations and preserve airports will likely continue under a second Bush administration. In part because AOPA successfully lobbied Congress for a fixed term in order to provide continuity and stability in aviation policy, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey is serving a five-year term that extends until September 2007. But she could be tapped for a promotion within the administration, putting the FAA under the direction of a new leader.
The head of the Transportation Security Administration likely won't change. Rear Adm. David Stone is a political appointee who serves at the pleasure of the President.
November 3, 2004