Already a member? Please login below for an enhanced experience. Not a member? Join today

Membership News & NotesMembership News & Notes

What AOPA is doing to keep you flying.


Enterprise Rent-A-Car has you covered

Extensive network extends to GA airports

Enterprise Rent-A-Car

As an AOPA Strategic Partner, Enterprise Rent-A-Car offers support to AOPA members in more ways than just car rental discounts. Members who plan their flight online with AOPA Airports can easily know if an Enterprise Rent-A-Car location is nearby by looking at the bottom of the airport page. Once you reserve a car, all you need to do is call the rental location to schedule a pick up or delivery of the vehicle to the FBO. Need to return a vehicle when the rental location is closed? Just contact the rental location so staff can make arrangements to meet your needs.

With more than 5,500 locations in North America, Enterprise Rent-A-Car provides service to 3,000 general aviation airports and FBOs. Enterprise Rent-A-Car operates through an extensive network of local, neighborhood offices, growing one neighborhood at a time. This is how it is able to offer car rental service to most of the FBO locations in the United States and have locations within 15 miles of 90 percent of the U.S. population.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car customer service is the driving force behind car rental, especially for serving AOPA members. J.D. Power and Associates has ranked Enterprise Rent-A-Car “Highest in Rental Car Customer Satisfaction” among North American airport rentals eight times in the past nine years, including the 2012 Rental Car Satisfaction Study.

AOPA members who book online can take advantage of a discount on everyday low rates and help support AOPA.

Strategic Partner Spotlight: Aero-Space Reports

Aero-Space ReportsAero-Space Reports offers members-only discounts on aircraft title search package ($65 savings) and escrow transactions (10 percent); provides sponsorship of AOPA Aviation Summit, the aircraft valuation section of, and AOPA’s Aircraft Challenge contest; and provides financial support that helps AOPA promote, protect, and defend GA.


What AOPA is doing to keep you flying

FAA looking to close 149 towers

While AOPA does not oppose closing under-utilized towers, the association worked with the FAA and supporters on Capitol Hill to educate them on the safety implications of making a across-the-board tower cuts without first analyzing the implications. AOPA participated on a Safety Risk Management Panel, which resulted in a delay of the closures until at least June 15.

Airman testing and training improvements

AOPA co-chaired a working group that published for comment airman certification standards for the private certificate and instrument rating. The standards will improve and integrate flight testing and training by combining aeronautical knowledge and risk management to the flight proficiency skills.

FCC proposes ELT ban

AOPA submitted comments opposing the FCC’s proposal that would prohibit the certification, manufacture, importation, sale, or use of 121.5 MHz emergency locator transmitters (ELTs). If enacted, the ban would impose unjustified costs of $500 million on GA aircraft owners while providing little benefit. AOPA asserts that the FCC should abandon its proposed rule changes and defer to the FAA on matters of aviation safety.


State snapshot: Maryland

AOPA activity in the Free State

Maryland Delegate Jon Cardin, an AOPA ally and aviation advocate, introduced H.B.1004, which would offer income tax credits for qualifying members of the state’s Civil Air Patrol. “The measure not only appropriately extends existing volunteer tax credits to the dedicated Maryland CAP volunteers, but it also serves as an ideal opportunity to highlight the value and importance of this historic non-profit program to my colleagues in the legislature and all nonflying Maryland citizens,” said Cardin.


Number of jobs supported by Maryland’s GA airports. Frederick Municipal Airport (FDK)—AOPA’s home airport—is the state’s third biggest job provider, with 1,286 jobs.

A Maryland lawmaker proposed levying an additional sales surtax on a list of items, including all GA aircraft, categorized as luxury items. AOPA met with legislators to oppose and stop the bill in committee. The new tax, coupled with the already high aviation operating fees and taxes in the state, could create a business exodus and/or suppression of Maryland’s aviation industry, with a resulting net decrease in overall revenue collections, contrary to the intent of the measure.

Did you know?

Maryland’s College Park Airport (CGS) is the world’s oldest continuously operating airport. It opened in 1909.

Essex Skypark, a charming single-runway airport located near Baltimore, will remain open after an effort by the county to shutter the historic field for redevelopment. Local pilots banded together against the county plan, with the support of AOPA, and renegotiated the lease and terms of the airport and saved the historic aviation facility for many years to come—99, to be exact.

Beware of ‘scare-space’

As multiple disoriented, out-of-town pilots have learned the hard way—with a friendly greeting from swarming Blackhawk helicopters or F-15s—Maryland is covered by restricted and special use airspace, including the post-9/11 special flight rules area (SFRA) and the flight restricted zone (FRZ) security perimeter around the nation’s capital; three area Class B airports; and the expandable restricted airspace ring over Camp David, known as P-40.

‘Game-changing’ GA tax bill inked in Indiana

Pilots fueling general aviation aircraft in Indiana can expect to see savings of $100, $250, or more each time they taxi to the pumps now that lawmakers passed an AOPA-backed package of aviation tax exemptions and restructurings. Savings also will extend to lower-cost items on aircraft maintenance bills. This should provide a shot in the arm to the state’s aviation industry and may even rid Indiana of its reputation for imposing the highest fuel taxes in the nation. The measure removes the state sales tax on 100LL and jet fuel and restructures the previous excise tax on aviation fuel to a fixed state tax rate. Based on current avgas prices, that lowers the current total state fuel tax of 60 cents per gallon to 10 cents per gallon.

“AOPA deeply appreciates the Indiana leadership—particularly Senate Majority Leader Brandt Hershman and Speaker Brian Bosma—for carefully examining the issue and recognizing the urgency to move forward with this game-changing tax remedy,” said Mark Kimberling, AOPA director of state government affairs.


AOPA Pilot Protection Services guards both your pilot and medical certificates to protect your freedom to fly.

What is a CACI?

What is a CACI? Well, it’s not some new infectious disease, but a new procedure that will allow your aviation medical examiner to issue your medical certificate in the office for some medical conditions that previously required a special issuance authorization. CACI stands for “conditions AMEs can issue.” The FAA physicians in Oklahoma City and Washington, D.C., amended the certification policy (different and easier than having to change a regulation) for a group of low-risk medical conditions to eliminate the special issuance requirement.

Now, there are worksheets included in the Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners, the online reference guide for AMEs, for each of the conditions that require specific medical evaluations and testing that you will obtain from your treating physician and provide to your AME at the time of your flight physical. If all the requirements specified in the worksheet are met, the AME may issue you a medical certificate without calling the FAA for verbal or written permission. This is much like they have been doing for the five conditions that I have written about in the past: high blood pressure, uncomplicated asthma, a solitary kidney stone that has passed with no retained stones, diet-controlled diabetes, and an uncomplicated and healed peptic ulcer.

The CACI conditions are arthritis, asthma, glaucoma, hronic hepatitis C, hypothyroidism, migraine and chronic headache, pre-diabetes conditions, and renal cancer.

Dr. Warren Silberman is the former manager of FAA Aerospace Medical Certification and a doctor of osteopathic medicine. A pilot since 1986, he is recognized nationally as an expert in aerospace/preventative medicine.


Is your tower closing?

Need a refresher on operations at nontowered airports? With tower closures pending, AOPA recently teamed with the Air Safety Institute to hold a webinar designed to help pilots transition from towered to nontowered operations at airports whose towers are scheduled to close. Topics discussed include sharing the traffic pattern with a mix of aircraft, good communication on the CTAF, right of way, and safety and courtesy. See the Air Safety Institute’s Operations at Airports Safety Spolight ( and read more in June’s Answers for Pilots online.

View the webinar online .


Protecting the airspace as well as the airport

To Addison Airport’s Keith Craigo, being the ASN volunteer is about more than just the airport. He was instrumental in getting the word out to local pilots in the Dallas-Fort Worth area regarding a notice of proposed rulemaking that the FAA published for the modification of the DFW Class B airspace area. AOPA airspace staff reached out to him for feedback. Craigo created a website with details of the proposal, posted guidance on how to submit comments to the FAA, and created an opportunity for pilots to share their thoughts on the issue—more than 60 comments were submitted to the FAA.

Although the FAA actively solicited comments on its initial proposal, some of the concerns noted by AOPA and local pilots remained on parts of the redesign. When a new opportunity to comment was created by the FAA’s January 2013 NPRM, Craigo launched his own effort to engage local pilots.

ASN volunteers not only serve as the grassroots of AOPA’s airport preservation efforts, but are called upon by staff on various aviation issues for their feedback. From airspace to environmental issues, the ASN volunteers are key to AOPA’s success. Are you ready to volunteer?

Learn more at


Educating pilots on improving their skills and enhancing GA safety is a core tenet of the AOPA Foundation’s Air Safety Institute and its educational programs. Show your support with a donation today.

VFR not recommended

Outmaneuver inadvertent VFR flight into IMC

As you look out the window seeing severe clear conditions at your departure airport, a flight service briefer’s “VFR not recommended for your route” is hard to swallow and may tempt you to throw caution to the wind and take off anyway. You justify your decision by saying that if the weather changes en route, you can always land. But will you stick to that plan? As the visibility drops and clouds force you to descend, will you land? Or will you press on because you’re almost there?

Getting caught off guard flying VFR into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) can quickly lead to loss of aircraft control caused by spatial disorientation—the outcome of which all too often becomes the subject of a NTSB accident investigation.

Instead, find out more about what happens when visibility deteriorates or clouds and terrain squeeze a VFR flight into IMC: Download the Air Safety Institute’s VFR into IMC Syllabus. The 12-page booklet includes ground and flight lesson plans, and provides guidance on objectives, discussion points, and completion standards for each lesson. The curriculum is designed to be followed under the direction and supervision of a qualified flight instructor and was created to help you recognize and understand conditions that can lead to inadvertent VFR flight into IMC—and how to safely escape IMC should visual references be lost.

Download the syllabus and “IMC Escape Procedures” checklist.

New program shines light on general aviation

The AOPA Foundation recently created a program to show its appreciation for the great work being done through general aviation. Giving Back will award 10 grants of up to $10,000 each to nonprofit groups doing charitable work through GA (see “Foundation Focus,” page 22).

Whether you want to join the Foundation’s Giving Back initiative by donating to the Foundation or you’d like to apply for a grant, find everything you need to know about Giving Back, including grant applications online. Grant applications are due by July 1.


Medical payments

Let’s say you or one of your passengers suffer an injury while in your aircraft. Medical payments coverage pays the medical expenses for those injuries, including ambulance, surgical, dental, professional nursing, and the like. It also covers injuries that occur to anyone entering or leaving your airplane. Regardless of who’s at fault in the accident, your policy will pay the set amount (usually between $1,000 and $10,000 per passenger) for those related medical expenses. Because its purpose is to pay for immediate medical treatment, most policies have a time limit on the payment of medical services provided.

Carrying medical payments coverage on your policy is a smart idea because it can sometimes cover the smaller injury claims and prevent a larger lawsuit against your bodily injury liability coverage. Additionally, it may pay expenses not covered by personal health insurance. The good news is that this coverage is often available at little to no extra cost, with rates varying by the number of passenger seats on your airplane and the limit you choose. Even better news is that most policies will include the crew in the coverage. For those bodily injury claims for which you are legally liable, coverage would be provided under the bodily injury and property damage section of your policy.

Brenda J. Jennings is an aviation insurance professional with more than 35 years of experience.


AOPA Aviation Summit October 10-12, 2013

AOPA Aviation Summit takes you to Fort Worth, Texas, and to the heart of what matters most to today’s pilots and aircraft owners.

Summit 2013: Rodeo, country music top social agenda

Experience Fort Worth and grow your personal network at one of Summit’s many social events. Each day AOPA offers an activity that allows the fun to continue long after the exhibit hall closes. Whether you’re looking to listen to live music, view vintage aircraft, or see a rodeo, these exclusive events for Summit attendees will be sure to leave a lasting impression.

Fort Worth StockyardsChow Down in Cowtown
Friday, October 11, 2013
5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Stockyard Station

For the drovers herding longhorn cattle up the Chisholm Trail to the railheads, Fort Worth was the last major stop for rest and supplies. Between 1866 and 1890 more than four million head of cattle were trailed through Fort Worth, formerly known as “Cowtown” and known today as Fort Worth’s historic Stockyards. Join us in the Stockyards for a Friday evening event full of good food, great entertainment, and fun atmosphere. Chow down on some famous Riscky’s BBQ (a local favorite since 1927), grab a drink, enjoy a comedy gunfight, and relax to the sounds of live country music. Don’t forget your camera! You’ll want to capture a photo of yourself and your pilot friends in front of authentic Texas Longhorn cattle, on display just for our attendees. After you’ve eaten and drank until the cows come home (or the longhorn goes to sleep), mosey over to Cowtown Coliseum for the Stockyard Championship Rodeo. Here you will view the best in rodeo and western action in a reserved seating area just for Summit attendees. Check out the pictorial timeline on the entry wall and the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame with memorabilia offering a brief glimpse into rodeo life.

Pilots, Planes, and Pancakes
Saturday, October 12, 2013
9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Join AOPA for a pancake breakfast and Saturday keynote in the aircraft display at Meacham Airport. Hear updates on the latest in general aviation news, mingle with fellow pilots, and enjoy the ambiance of the dozens of aircraft on display.

For more special events, visit the website. Registration is now open.


Send your new address and AOPA membership number to:
AOPA, 421 Aviation Way, Frederick, Maryland 21701-4798
Fax 301/695-2375

Call 800/USA-AOPA (872-2672)

Call 800/955-9115

Call 800/638-3101

Call 800/523-7666

Call 800/62-PLANE (75263)

Call 800/622-AOPA (622-2672)

Call 800/USA-AOPA (872-2672)

Call 800/USA-AOPA (872-2672)

Call 866-315-9155

New extended Pilot Information Center hours

Now you can enjoy a whole new level of access to the team of aviation experts in our Pilot Information Center with our convenient extended weekday hours. The Pilot Information Center is now available until 8 p.m. Eastern time every weekday. Call 800-USA-AOPA (872-2672) Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. Eastern time, with your questions and our staff will be happy to assist you.

Visit the website to learn about upgrading to the AOPA Plus membership.

Related Articles