Members of California’s aviation community reaffirmed the importance of maintaining close ties to achieve mutual goals and cooperate to educate policy makers on the issues at a statewide conference Sept.10 through 12.
AOPA Vice President of Government Affairs Melissa Rudinger was the keynote speaker at the eighteenth annual conference of the Association of California Airports in South Lake Tahoe. AOPA remains committed to work closely with airports association, the California Airports Council, and other organizations, "to protect aeronautical funding, clear the way for recreational-use liability protection, and of course, fight the battle to save Santa Monica airport," she said.
Representatives of the National Business Aviation Association, California Pilots Association, Sutter Buttes Regional Aviation Association, and many individual airports were among the approximately 150 in attendance, joining colleagues from industry and government. A wide range of topics including airspace design procedures, leaded avgas replacement, airport business plans, pavement maintenance, pilot training, and federal and state airports issues were on the agenda, furthering the group's stated mission of "connecting people, planes and public policy."
State Sen. Jean Fuller (R-District 18) addressed conference attendees, encouraging participants to actively engage their elected officials, and educate them on the importance of aviation and airports to the well-being of California communities.
"It was a successful conference, with many compliments received from participants," said John Pfeifer, AOPA Western Pacific regional manager, director of the ACA, and conference organizer.
Pfeifer presented a session on the need to replace leaded avgas in the general aviation fleet, and reviewed the efforts now being pursued to do so. The FAA recently selected four unleaded aviation fuels for initial testing at its research facility, as AOPA reported Sept. 8. Pfeifer also provided an update on state legislative initiatives, and led several discussions.
"Airport issues are vital to AOPA members, so having AOPA involved in a statewide conference as both an organizer and participant delivers benefit to the membership," he said.
The nineteenth conference is scheduled to take place Sept. 9 through 11, 2015.