|AOPA President Phil Boyer, OPA State President Gwen Morrow, and OPA President Elect Jim Bellet|
AOPA President Phil Boyer returned to his home state of Oregon as the featured speaker at the "Festival of Flight-2000," the summer event for the Oregon Pilots Association (OPA). The August 26 event supported the city of Klamath Falls' Kingsley Field (KLMT) airport. Boyer spoke to a crowd of some 100 active pilots and cited AOPA's work in Washington on both the legislative and regulatory fronts.
The AOPA president told OPA members and their spouses that this year's passage of the AIR-21 transportation act not only unlocked the long-held-hostage aviation trust fund, but also amounted to a resounding rejection of Clinton-proposed user fees.
"Congress acted to properly fund FAA modernization and airport improvements, and they did it without user fees," Boyer said. "This was the fifth straight year that Congress told President Clinton 'no' on user fees."
Boyer explained for the Oregon pilots how the comprehensive AIR-21 legislation finally unlocked the aviation trust fund and provided some $40 billion over the next three years for modernizing the FAA, additional research, and airport repair and improvement. AIR-21 was signed into law April 5.
"Unlocking of the aviation trust fund is perhaps the single most important element of the AIR-21 legislation," Boyer said. "What a novel concept: your aviation taxes actually going to improve aviation!"
As the featured speaker for the 1,600-member OPA's annual event, Boyer also pointed out that Oregon pilots are among the nation's most active, logging some 633,000 hours a year in 4,349 GA airplanes, for an average of 145.6 hours a year, and that Oregon's official state motto was one of the few with an aviation connection. Adopted in 1987, the motto is Alis Volat Propiis, which means "She Flies With Her Own Wings." Fifty-five percent of all Oregon pilots are members of AOPA.
August 28, 2000