Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) visited Elkhart Municipal Airport in Elkhart, Indiana, with an AOPA representative, pilots, and airport officials to highlight the role general aviation and local airports play in the state's economy.
Walorski was first elected to Congress in 2012 and is a member of the House Armed Services, Veterans’ Affairs, and Agriculture Committees, and chair of the Nutrition Subcommittee. AOPA hosted the event to provide an opportunity for the congresswoman to hear firsthand about GA issues that are important to local pilots, especially as Congress considers a long-term FAA reauthorization bill next year.
Scott Verstandig, AOPA senior director of legislative affairs, attended the Oct. 25 event and thanked Walorski for her consistent support of GA.
“As a co-sponsor of the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2, which included third class medical reform, and a member of the House General Aviation Caucus, Congresswoman Walorski is a strong supporter of GA and she understands that local airports are economic engines for their communities,” said Verstandig.
Walorski recently signed onto a House General Aviation Caucus letter to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta urging the agency to ensure third class medical reform is implemented on time and according to the provisions signed into law in July.
Elkhart Municipal Airport contributes $197 million to the local economy each year and delivers 1,520 jobs with an average salary of $69,000. The airport also has a garden with 20 plots available to members of the local community.