An aviation caucus has been created in California’s state Senate and Assembly, joining other states and the U.S. Congress, where bipartisan advocates have united to highlight aviation’s importance to the economy and the transportation system.
The co-chairs of the new California Aviation Caucus are state Sen. Jean Fuller (R-District 16) and Assembly member Jim Patterson (R-District 23).
Founding members of the caucus, which became active in January, include seven members of the Senate and 10 members of the Assembly, said John Pfeifer, AOPA Western/Pacific regional manager.
"This is an important step in our efforts to inform the California legislature on general aviation issues," said Pfeifer.
Pfeifer first urged the formation of a caucus in 2010, and continued to encourage the idea until this year.
The California Aviation Caucus states on its website that it was "established for the purpose of protecting and promoting the aviation industry, which is vital to the state’s economy and welfare. It will emphasize informing and educating members, staff, and the general public on the vital roles of the many functions and services performed and provided by aviation in the state transportation system and the national transportation system as a whole."
Noting its bipartisan, bicameral nature, the caucus said its objective is "to foster and promote all forms of aviation business, recreation and related activity, to the understanding and support of services provided by various forms of aviation activity, and to support legislation that creates jobs, improves transportation between communities within the state and across state boundaries, enhances emergency services, and improves the aviation business climate."
Pfeifer credited aviation organizations including the National Business Aviation Association and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, and light sport aircraft manufacturer Icon Aircraft, with supporting the formation of the caucus.