AOPA members in Congress can be a resource on general aviation issues because as pilots and informed aviation enthusiasts, they truly understand the consequences legislation could have on the industry. The 112th Congress will have five more AOPA members added to its ranks.
West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin III and Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey were elected to the Senate, while Steve Pearce of New Mexico, Charlie Bass of New Hampshire, and Bill Flores of Texas were elected to the House. Former AOPA member Adam Kinzinger of Illinois also was elected to the House.
Toomey, Pearce, and Bass had previously been elected to Congress but not the most recent term. All three opposed user fees during their time on Capitol Hill.
Manchin also is a vocal GA supporter and was featured in the January 2010 AOPA Pilot . He helped host the GA Serves America Rally during AOPA Aviation Summit 2009 in Tampa, Fla., encouraging all pilots to get involved in protecting their freedom to fly.
“These AOPA members will be able to help dispel myths about general aviation and easily talk about the safety and importance of the industry to the United States,” said Lorraine Howerton, AOPA vice president of legislative affairs. “And they will be able to provide sound judgment on many issues that threaten GA. We look forward to working with them in the upcoming congressional session.”