Feb. 18, 2004 - The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association has named Roger Cohen to the association's vice president of Regional Affairs position. He joins AOPA from the Air Transport Association of America, where he served 15 years as managing director of State and Local Government Affairs.
"What makes AOPA such a strong advocate for general aviation is our involvement at all levels - local, state, and federal," said AOPA Senior Vice President of Government and Technical Affairs Andy Cebula. "Roger has been the airline industry's primary state and local advocate and is well acquainted with the halls of state houses all across this country. He brings great strength and big game experience to our already formidable Regional Affairs department."
In his new position, Cohen will oversee AOPA's 13 regional representatives, State Affairs, the Airports department, and the Airport Support Network. Together these act as not only AOPA's eyes and ears, alerting the association to issues large and small that need attention, but also as an integrated first line of defense against initiatives attacking AOPA's interests.
During his 15 years with ATA, Cohen was the major airlines' lead spokesperson and liaison with the nation's governors, mayors, and other state and local officials. Prior to that, he worked for Trans World Airlines in both government relations and corporate communications. Cohen also has experience running his own firm in Los Angeles, conducting corporate communications, government relations, and association management for clients such as TWA, All Nippon Airways (ANA), and the Southern California Aero Club.
"After a quarter century, it's been a real eye-opener to transition from the limited concerns of the airlines to the incredible range of issues facing general aviation pilots," said Cohen. "I'm looking forward to the opportunity of serving more than 400,000 passionate 'clients' and defending their interests all across the country."
The more than 400,000-member Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association has been representing the interests of general aviation pilots since 1939. General aviation includes all flying except the scheduled airlines and the military. Nearly two thirds of all U.S. pilots, and three quarters of the GA pilots, are AOPA members.