The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) has expressed high praise for AOPA President Phil Boyer.
Upon learning the news of Boyer’s planned retirement, NATCA President Patrick Forrey said, “Phil’s leadership of AOPA has resulted in tremendous growth of the organization and significant advancement for the safety of general aviation. Owners and pilots worldwide could not have asked for a better advocate concerning all-important issues in the world of aviation. Phil’s guiding philosophy has been the same as NATCA’s: Safety Above All!”
In his statement released to the national news media, Forrey noted that Boyer has led AOPA for nearly as long as NATCA has been in existence.
“We’ve grown our respective organizations together and come to greatly value that critical relationship we have on both ends of the radio microphone,” said Forrey. “We’ve stood together at fly-ins, aviation shows and conventions, and so many great meetings and conferences where we interacted and learned from one another’s experiences and wisdom.
“We salute Phil on an extraordinary career and wish him smooth skies and safe flights into his retirement.”
By Phil Boyer
Controllers and pilots form a critical partnership. In today’s complex airspace, even VFR pilots rely on controllers to navigate safely. I doubt there isn’t a pilot flying today who can’t thank a controller for helping him out of some kind of a jam at some point. Many controllers are also pilots and AOPA members, and I’m always tickled when they say “hello” because the AOPA aircraft—N4GA—comes up on frequency.
The controller-pilot partnership has extended to political affairs in Washington, D.C. On the issues of critical importance to us all—safety, user fees, air traffic control privatization—AOPA and NATCA have stood shoulder-to-shoulder for the betterment of all aviation.
We don’t always go down the same path, much as pilots don’t always get the exact routing they want. But our fundamental goals have always been the same: safety, efficiency, and no user fees.