The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) wants the non-flying public to know and appreciate general aviation (GA) the way pilots do. To show them the many benefits of GA, AOPA will air a series of television commercials on The Weather Channel during the upcoming holiday season. The five commercials reinforce the messages that general aviation is a vital part of the U.S. lifestyle and does not pose a threat. From assisting with hurricane relief efforts to air ambulance and other types of humanitarian flying, GA is an integral part of American life.
"General aviation is key to so many aspects of American life," said Jeff Myers, AOPA executive vice president of communications. "And there's no reason to be concerned by small planes flying overhead. No GA aircraft has been used in an act of terror anywhere in the world. Ever!"
The commercials, to be aired December 22 through December 31, highlight GA's benefits to society. They will run about 125 times during a crucial time when pilot and nonpilot viewers alike are paying close attention to weather forecasts to get to their destinations.
The TV spots will address five key themes: GA is the largest segment of aviation; GA flies to all 5,400 public-use airports, not just the handful serviced by airlines; GA is the training ground for the airlines and the military; GA is a critical part of an entire transportation system; and GA does not represent a terrorist threat.
"The commercial about GA security is new this year and is slated to get more than 30 percent of the play," said Myers. "Its message to the public, media, and politicians is clear, forceful, and unequivocal - the aircraft and pilots of America's GA community represent a powerful - and largely underappreciated - asset to the U.S."
The commercials are expected to reach more than 30 million viewers and direct them to the GA Serving America Web site, www.GAservingAmerica.org. The site clearly demonstrates the many benefits of GA. A new section also helps explain the many steps GA has taken to keep airports and airplanes safe and secure. The site also highlights the many valuable roles of GA, including shipping packages, protecting crops, and catching criminals. And it provides safety and economic statistics.
The more-than-407,000 members of AOPA make up the world's largest civil aviation association. AOPA is committed to striking a common-sense balance that fulfills national security needs while protecting aircraft owners and pilots from overly burdensome regulations.
December 21, 2005