The message to the public, media, and politicians is clear, forceful, and unequivocal: The aircraft and pilots of America's general aviation community do not pose a terrorist threat to the United States. Period.
"No GA aircraft has been used in an act of terror anywhere in the world. Ever!" said Jeff Myers, AOPA executive vice president of communications. "That's a fact that gets lost in the media's persistent scaremongering.
"So now your association is turning to two of the most powerful ways to communicate—TV and the Web—to bring the message home to the public."
AOPA has updated its award-winning GA Serving America Web site, and added an entirely new section on GA security.
The new section explains in everyday English how GA aircraft are too small, slow, and limited in carrying capacity to pose much of a threat.
And that GA pilots are subjected to multiple levels of security screening intended to identify potential terrorists and prevent them from training in or using GA aircraft.
The new Web pages show how the GA industry and pilots have been involved in a proactive, nationally-coordinated security partnership with federal, state, and local governments to protect GA resources from potential terrorist acts.
As well as a comprehensive explanation of the multiple layers of protection guarding national resources from terrorist attacks -including airspace restrictions; operational, airport, and aircraft security; and the new pilot screening and credentialing program.
"For too long, our industry has been too shy about blowing GA's horn," said Myers. "No more. AOPA will continue its aggressive efforts to reach out to the public, to explain general aviation and its value to every citizen.
"People sometimes fear what they don't know. They're going to know us now!"
Updated: December 19, 2005, 10:34 p.m. EST