During the 2010 FAA and MAMA (Massachusetts Airport Management Association) Joint Annual Conference, AOPA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Melissa Rudinger spoke to airport managers and federal, state, and local aviation officials about AOPA’s advocacy efforts to protect airports.
Airport advocacy is always ranked as one of the key interest areas by AOPA members, so Rudinger explained to the audience some of the association’s efforts to protect community airports.
One of the association’s programs to protect airports of all sizes is the AOPA Airport Support Network (ASN). The ASN is composed of volunteers at airports who serve as AOPA’s first-warning system to prevent small disturbances or disagreements from turning into a threat to close the airport.
At the regional level, AOPA has a group of 12 representatives who work with state aviation officials and legislators to help prevent aviation funding from being cut from the state budget, thwart laws that would negatively impact aircraft ownership or flight training, and more. As recognition of the dedication of AOPA’s regional representatives, Rudinger accepted the Vincent A. Scarnaro Legacy Award on behalf of Northeast Regional Representative Craig Dotlo who could not attend the conference. Dotlo was recognized as “a relentless and resourceful advocate for New England airports.”
Rudinger emphasized the importance of general aviation airports to the overall transportation infrastructure and to the local communities they serve.