“Fly New Mexico!” was the theme of the New Mexico Aviation Division Annual Conference Sept. 7 through 9 in Santa Fe.
AOPA is actively engaged in representing members’ interests with policymakers, and Bill Dunn, AOPA vice president airport advocacy, gave a presentation on national policy initiatives and state advocacy efforts before an audience of some 150 airport managers, pilots, and other participants.
The event provided “an excellent opportunity to renew and build relationships with those who have a significant impact on general aviation airports and their operations,” he said. Dunn reviewed matters of current interest including FAA reauthorization and the revised residential through the fence policy. He also gave an overview of AOPA airport advocacy efforts on local airport access and closure issues. “Preserving general aviation airports and access to them is a partnership between airport managers, airport sponsors, and local pilots,” Dunn said.
The conference was held against the backdrop of Gov. Bill Richardson’s recent declaration of September as “ Aviation and Aerospace Appreciation Month” in New Mexico. The declaration recognizes that with more than 4,000 GA pilots and 60 public-use airports in the state, GA helps drive local economies and serves a variety of public interests from medical care to law enforcement. During his presentation, Dunn thanked the governor for recognizing the value of aviation to the state.