Michigan lawmakers and representatives of the state’s aviation industry met Feb. 24 in Lansing, marking the revitalization of the Michigan Aviation Caucus. AOPA Great Lakes Regional Manager Bryan Budds was among those attending as the Michigan Business Aviation Association hosted aviation professionals and state lawmakers. The group heard a presentation from Rick Fiddler, chairman of the Michigan Aeronautics Commission (among other roles), who talked about his nearly half-century of involvement in Michigan aviation.
State Sen. Wayne Schmidt (R-District 37) and Rep. Jim Tedder (R-District 43), co-chairmen of the aviation caucus, also addressed the gathering. Schmidt sponsored recent legislation that redirected aviation fuel tax dollars to underfunded state aviation accounts, helping to ensure the long-term viability of the state’s aviation industry.
“The revitalization of the Michigan Aviation Caucus demonstrates the dedication Michigan lawmakers have in defending and promoting the industry which accounts for an annual economic impact of more than $4 billion annually within the state,” Budds said. “We look forward to working collaboratively with the caucus to continue strengthening the aviation community in Michigan.”
AOPA works with lawmakers across the country to support the creation and expansion of aviation caucuses in state legislatures, which in turn raise awareness and support among lawmakers of aviation-friendly policies and laws. Caucus members gain insight and education about specific issues, and work collaboratively with AOPA and other stakeholders to promote safety, job creation, improved facilities, and many other measures that benefit the aviation community.