The New York Aviation Management Association (NYAMA) held its annual Aviation Advocacy Days event at the state Capitol in Albany, with AOPA attending and helping to sponsor the activities that give members of the aviation sector an opportunity to meet state lawmakers and improve the state airport system.
It’s not just the chocolate airplanes distributed by NYAMA staffers that have made the event “a staple of efforts to engage with legislators and protect airports and aviation business in New York State,” said AOPA Eastern Regional Manager Sean Collins.
Collins joined with NYAMA members from Long Island including Sheltair Aviation Services; Cosgrove Aircraft Services; several members of the Long Island Aviation Business Association; and Thomas Pepe, a Vaughn College aviation management student, in meetings with legislators from Long Island districts.
A conversation with Sen. Thomas Croci (R-3rd Senate District), a longtime aviation supporter, focused on how communities can draw businesses that are likely to own and operate corporate aircraft and increase the activity at airports such as Brookhaven Airport in Shirley—provided the necessary infrastructure, such as sewer system, is in place, Collins said.
“His comments underlined how we as pilots should be engaged within our communities to understand potential opportunities that exist for our airports; and act accordingly,” Collins said.
Collins encouraged pilots to become active advocates for their own communities’ airports, noting that every dollar a state dedicates to safety projects funded by the Airport Improvement Program brings in a matching $9 from the federal program.