AOPA Vice President and Assistant to the President Melissa Rudinger with Arizona Pilots Association President Tommy Thomason.
More than 100 pilots attended the Arizona Pilots Association annual meeting May 10 at the Pima Community College’s aviation hangar at Tucson International Airport. Melissa Rudinger, AOPA vice president and assistant to the president, delivered the keynote speech about the association’s GA Serves America Campaign. GA Serves America was established to educate lawmakers, opinion leaders, and the media about general aviation’s central role in the air transportation network and its economic asset to the nation.
The Arizona event kicked off a national GA Serves America speaking tour that will continue through the year. The outreach also involves distributing DVDs and brochures to counter the negative image of private aircraft as “toys for the rich,” to counter arguments for user fees and tax increases, and to fight onerous security regulations and urban pressures on small airports.
Rudinger also spoke about GA Serves America in California at the Transportation Research Board’s Seventh Annual Aviation Symposium in Monterey and at Oakland’s Air Route Traffic Control Center.