Each year, AOPA’s 12 regional representatives come together to sharpen their skills and coordinate with the association’s headquarters. This year, the representatives also used the meeting as an opportunity to reach out to state aviation agencies, coordinating a joint meeting with the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) in Washington, D.C.
The representatives, who often work closely with NASAO to serve AOPA members at the regional and state level, participated in a three-day conference designed to help them better advocate for members' needs in their area. As part of that effort, they spent a day with state aviation officials discussing general aviation, listening to panels and speakers on GA issues, and strengthening their relationships with the officials.
“Our regional representatives interact with state officials regularly to promote general aviation and to protect our members,” said Greg Pecoraro, AOPA vice president of airports and state advocacy. “Events like this one help build strong working relationship so that we can work effectively with officials at every level—local, state, or federal—when a problem comes up.”
During a keynote speech at the NASAO conference, AOPA President Craig Fuller talked about the mounting threats to GA and how AOPA is fighting back through the GA Serves America campaign . He stressed the importance of continued cooperation between AOPA and state officials in responding to threats that include user fees, onerous security regulations, and negative public opinion.