When it comes to promoting and protecting community airports, no one is more important than the people who use them. That’s why the AOPA Airport Support Network (ASN) has become so successful, with nearly 2,000 dedicated volunteers serving airports nationwide.
“ASN volunteers truly lead the fight on behalf of community airports, one field at a time,” said Jennifer Storm, director of the AOPA Airport Support Network. “Volunteers serve as our eyes and ears at airports across the country, and working with AOPA headquarters, they can help prevent and resolve problems.”
In fact, prevention—monitoring zoning, developing good relationships with the nonflying community, and getting connected at the local government level—may be the most important role of ASN volunteers.
“An airport doesn’t need to be under threat of closure to need a volunteer,” said Storm. “By the time the threat is clear, it may be too late. Issues that may lead to closure threats, like encroaching development or noise complaints, can effectively be addressed by ASN volunteers and help keep the airport healthy. Just as important is educating the broader community about the value of the airport, even for those who don’t use it themselves.”
AOPA’s goal is to have an ASN volunteer at every public-use airport in the United States. And while the program has grown dramatically in the decade since its inception, there are still thousands of airports without a volunteer.
Then, when you’re ready to make a resolution to keep your airport healthy, apply to be the ASN volunteer for your airport. Each airport has only one volunteer, and that individual must be an AOPA member with an e-mail address and the desire to get involved.