AOPA's 13-day national TV advertising blitz promoting the value of community airports will begin December 22 and include prime holiday travel times. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association is underwriting the commercials on The Weather Channel. The commercials may also be viewed online.
"AOPA's timing for purchase of these 161 commercials wasn't an accident," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "With overwhelming congestion at major airports and airline passenger disgruntlement, a reminder of the value of local airports couldn't be more appropriate."
The 30-second commercials, perhaps the largest one-time outreach ever undertaken to educate the general public on the value of America's local airports, are scheduled to air on Weather Channel programs from Friday, December 22, through Wednesday, January 3, including:
The commercials will also run on other Weather Channel programming throughout the period, both on weekdays and weekends. Each commercial ends with the tag line, "America's pilots care about local community airports. You should, too!"
AOPA chose The Weather Channel for the blitz because millions of Americans are off work and at home between the Christmas and New Year's holidays or are traveling during the period. They are therefore mindful of transportation issues and the weather as they plan family activities or holiday travel. The Weather Channel reaches some 70 million U.S. households.
The fast-paced commercials were 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. Those volunteers will be encouraging members of their community and local civic leaders to watch for the commercials.
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association represents some 365,000 members, more than 56 percent of the nation's pilots. AOPA defense of general aviation airports—which have been closing in recent years at the rate of more than one every two weeks—was bolstered in 1997 with the formation of the Airport Support Network.
December 5, 2000