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AOPA fosters caucus growthAOPA fosters caucus growth

AOPA invited an Arizona lawmaker who also is a decorated U.S. Navy veteran and firefighting tanker pilot to speak Oct. 1 during the association’s Prescott, Arizona, Fly-In. That was in large part because Rep. Noel Campbell (R-District 1) is a pilot who knows the value of general aviation. AOPA is working with state lawmakers, starting with Campbell, to add Arizona to the growing list of states where aviation-friendly lawmakers have created a GA caucus to support aviation-friendly legislation.
Photo courtesy of Arizona State Library

Campbell, who lives in Prescott, happens to be the only member of the current state legislature who holds a pilot certificate, though Arizona is the home of 26,220 active pilots and more than 8,000 AOPA members, as well as nearly 8,000 GA aircraft. GA contributes $1.8 billion to the state economy and supports 9,800 jobs, facts that AOPA staff collected to help make a case to lawmakers throughout the state that GA is a vital contributor to both the economy and quality of life.

Campbell has a head start understanding that, thanks to decades of experience in the cockpit, and as a business owner. A decorated naval aviator who volunteered for service during the Vietnam war, earned his wings, and flew missions to support Navy SEAL teams, Campbell more recently took on the mission of flying firefighting aircraft for the U.S. Forest Service. Also a retired U.S. Customs officer, Campbell spoke about the importance of GA to his district, and to the state, during a presentation at the recent AOPA Fly-In.

Photo courtesy of Arizona Secretary of State

Campbell will work from within the state capitol to help AOPA build a GA caucus, and members can also help support this cause, in Arizona and elsewhere: Contacting representatives at any level of government—local, state, or federal—to let them know that you believe strongly that GA is an important resource, one that supports jobs, generates revenue, and performs a range of missions from routine transportation to emergency response, can only help AOPA grow the list of states with an active base of support in government.

In Arizona, AOPA plans to work with Campbell right away on legislation that will reduce maintenance taxes, an effort similar to those under way (or long since completed) in other states including Maryland, where legislation backed by AOPA for the same purpose was introduced this year.

AOPA members and the wider aviation community have reaped many rewards over the years from similar efforts. State laws that protect and support airports and infrastructure, reduce the cost of flying, and help aviation businesses stay competitive have been passed across the country. The mission is ongoing, and is one to which individual members can contribute directly, with a phone call or an email to a local lawmaker to let them know you care about making your state aviation friendly.

Jim Moore

Jim Moore

Editor-Web Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot, as well as a certificated remote pilot, who enjoys competition aerobatics and flying drones.
Topics: GA Caucuses, Advocacy

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