Dirk Ahle, deputy general manager of the Transportation Security Administration's
Charter, Air Cargo, and General Aviation
Office, and Rob Hackman, AOPA manager
of regulatory and certification policy.
AOPA regional representatives gathered at AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Maryland, this week for their semiannual, two-day refresher on how to effectively lobby at the state and local level and protect general aviation airports.
"The regional representatives help us respond to our members' No. 1 concern: saving their airport," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Under the leadership of AOPA Vice President of Regional Affairs Greg Pecoraro, these 13 men and women are the association's key to protecting pilots' interests in their region."
The representatives also met with Dirk Ahle, deputy general manager of the Transportation Security Administration's Charter, Air Cargo, and General Aviation Office, who pledged to work with AOPA and the GA industry on security initiatives like AOPA's Airport Watch. Ahle stressed the importance of pilots participating at the frontline of the program by alerting authorities to suspicious activity.
AOPA Vice President of Legislative Affairs Christine Corcoran discussed important national GA issues that Congress is considering, including AOPA's opposition to large cuts in the airport funding system.
Then the representatives learned about what's going on at the state level to fund and protect GA airports. National Association of State Aviation Officials President and CEO Henry Ogrodzinski discussed what GA legislation state governments were considering.
"Our goal is to make sure the representatives are up to speed on GA issues on all fronts," Boyer said. "Then, we make sure they are equipped with the skills necessary to help us protect GA."
Representatives learned how to apply effective lobbying strategies at the state and local level. This included AOPA Vice President of Airports Bill Dunn, who instructed them on how best to use AOPA's resources and local pilots to promote, protect, and defend GA airports.
April 25, 2006