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Pilot Briefing: Action in the States

This month’s focus: Western Pacific Region

AOPA hosted the first ever Hawaii State Aviation Day on April 6 to raise awareness among lawmakers regarding the vital role aviation plays in the state. In preparation for the event, AOPA Director of State Government Affairs Jared Esselman met with Ross Higachi, deputy director of airports for Hawaii. The two discussed their concerns about general aviation in the state as well as opportunities to support the GA industry.

“One of the major issues surfacing in those meetings was the number of runway incursions at Honolulu International Airport, which has the highest number of runway incursions in the nation, according to the FAA,” Esselman said. “AOPA will work with the FAA and local organizations such as the General Aviation Council of Hawaii, EAA, and the Civil Air Patrol to promote the Air Safety Institute’s Runway Safety online course for pilots in an effort to help reduce the number of incursions.”

AOPA also hosted a meeting of Airport Support Network volunteers in Hawaii to hear their concerns and bring them up to date on AOPA’s important initiatives.

AOPA’s Western Pacific Regional Manager Melissa McCaffrey took part in a recent state aviation day in Arizona. State aviation days are a great opportunity to educate legislators and the public about the value of general aviation airports, including their contributions to the economy, job creation, business growth, and more.

Advocating for your region

Through AOPA staff, a network of seven regional managers, and a corps of 2,500 Airport Support Network volunteers, AOPA advocates for its members at the state and local levels to:

• Promote, protect, and defend America’s community airports.

• Maintain sufficient state and local funding for GA airports and infrastructure.

• Prevent excess state taxation on flying.

• Protect general aviation from unnecessary state and local regulation.

• View proposed releases of airport property that could affect your local airport.

• Please click on your state on the map online to see news, blogs posts, and tweets for your region.

Meet Your Regional Manager

Melissa McCaffrey, Western Pacific Region

Melissa McCaffrey has served as the Western Pacific regional manager since 2015. She is responsible for general aviation state advocacy, policy, and other aviation-related issues in Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada. McCaffrey has been with AOPA since 2012 and was previously responsible for air traffic and airspace-related issues for the AOPA Government Affairs division. She is a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, has a bachelor’s degree in air traffic management, and is a private pilot. McCaffrey lives in Temecula, California, with her husband and sons and flies out of French Valley Airport in Murrieta, California.

Alaska Region:Tom George, Fairbanks, Alaska, [email protected]

Northwest Mountain Region: Warren Hendrickson, Seattle, Washington, warren.hendric[email protected]

Western Pacific Region: Melissa McCaffrey, Temecula, California, [email protected]

Central Southwest Region: Yasmina Platt, Houston, Texas, [email protected]

Great Lakes Region: Jared Esselman, Frederick, Maryland, [email protected]

Southern Region: Steve Hedges, Columbus, North Carolina, [email protected]

Eastern Region: Sean Collins, Bangor, Maine, [email protected]

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