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International general aviation gathers in Toronto: Changing public perceptions of GAInternational general aviation gathers in Toronto: Changing public perceptions of GA

23rd IAOPA World Assembly
Introduction
User fee threat
Improving public perception of "those little airplanes"
The "Meigs Field of Canada"
Safety and technology, and the power of numbers
World action

Changing public perceptions of GA

GA Serving America Web site
Phil Boyer in TV studio

AOPA-US President Boyer gave a 30-minute presentation on "Improving the Public Perception of GA," showing the world delegates the four ways that AOPA is turning the tide of public opinion about "those little airplanes."

There is the AOPA campaign to show that general aviation is serving all Americans. Foremost in that campaign is the GA Serving America Web site ( www.GAservingAmerica.org), developed in response to 9/11 and providing a highly comprehensive overview of GA, targeted to different audiences.

AOPA has also conducted a significant media campaign, with advertising showing the value of GA in major national newspapers and on television.

AOPA's online media course

The association has enhanced its media relations department with additional staff and new tools, all geared toward educating reporters about general aviation. In addition to a media-specific "press room" on the AOPA Web site, the association recently installed a TV studio and satellite uplink, permitting AOPA spokespeople to appear live on TV in any city, at any time.

AOPA also recognized that pilots could be GA's best asset, or worst fear, when talking to the press. That's why AOPA created an online media-training course for members, to teach them how to handle reporters' questions and the "ambush interview."

Next: The "Meigs Field of Canada."

June 22, 2006

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