AOPA President Phil Boyer will hold Pilot Town Meetings in Omaha August 28 and Des Moines August 29. He will update area pilots on current developments in national aviation legislation, policy, and regulations and will solicit pilots' views of the general aviation situation in Nebraska and Iowa.
A major national issue will be the current outlook for aviation funding, following passage of the long-term FAA reauthorization bill, AIR-21, with strong backing from AOPA and other GA organizations. While AIR-21 unlocks the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, freeing its $9 billion surplus for aviation projects, piecemeal action by congressional appropriations committees and opposition from the Clinton administration are making it difficult to put trust fund money to immediate and effective use.
Another topic for discussion will be the serious rise in runway incursions, causing both air carrier and general aviation accidents and incidents. Since effective technological systems to monitor ground traffic more closely are years in the future, AOPA is pushing for immediate changes in ground control procedures and increased emphasis on pilot education and training in techniques to avoid ground traffic conflicts.
At the Pilot Town Meetings, Boyer will report on the progress of AOPA's Airport Support Network, which now has recruited more than 800 volunteers—including 18 in Nebraska and seven in Iowa—to help in AOPA's defense of beleaguered general aviation airports.
And as a principal element of the meetings, Boyer will invite discussion of local issues of concern to pilots and aircraft owners.
Boyer has held more than 220 Pilot Town Meetings during the past eight years, reporting to pilots all across the country and soliciting their feedback to keep AOPA action focused on current pilot concerns.
The Pilot Town Meeting scheduled for Monday, August 28, will take place in the Crowne Plaza Omaha Old Mill, 655 North 108th Avenue. That's about seven miles from Millard Airport (MLE), near the exit off Interstate 680 for 108th and Old Mill.
The Tuesday, August 29, meeting will take place in the West Des Moines Marriott, 1250 74th Street—Exit 121 for 74th Street off Interstate 80.
Both meetings begin at 7:30 p.m. and are open to all pilots without charge.
Phil Boyer, a 30-year veteran aviator and former network television senior executive, is the third full-time president in AOPA's 60-year history. Instrument and multiengine rated, he has logged more than 6,000 flight hours, including two transatlantic crossings. He has been president of AOPA since January 1991.
AOPA represents pilots and owners of three quarters of the 206,000 general aviation aircraft that constitute 96 percent of the U.S. civilian fleet. Of the approximately 10,000 pilots in Iowa and Nebraska, well over half are AOPA members.
July 11, 2000