The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association will underwrite national cable TV messages promoting the value of community airports this holiday season. The 30-second commercials will air from Friday, December 22, through Wednesday, January 3, on The Weather Channel, just as congestion and passenger disgruntlement at major airline hub airports reach a peak.
The fast-paced commercials are adapted from the popular AOPA video Local Airports—Access to America, used nationwide by AOPA Airport Support Network volunteers to build public appreciation for local airports. AOPA first sponsored the commercials during the 1998 holiday season.
"Once again, AOPA is action, not talk," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Because defense of airports is our members' number-one priority, we're making this investment for the entire general aviation community." The pilots' association will sponsor 161 commercials on The Weather Channel this holiday season, when millions of Americans are at home or are traveling by car or air and are checking the weather frequently.
AOPA chose Weather Channel television advertising again because millions of Americans are off work and at home, and therefore mindful of transportation issues and the weather as they plan family activities or holiday travel. The Weather Channel reaches some 70 million people.
AOPA's 13-day advertising blitz is perhaps the largest one-time outreach ever undertaken to educate the general public on the value of America's local airports.
"We've often heard that aviation just 'preaches to the choir,'" noted AOPA's Boyer. "But thanks to the overwhelming support of our pilot members, AOPA can tell the general public about the importance of general aviation and local airports."
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association expects to end 2000 with more than 365,000 members, some 56 percent of the nation's pilots. AOPA members own three quarters of the U.S. general aviation fleet.
November 30, 2000