Washington, D.C.-based political news publication The Hill has named AOPA a top lobbying association for the fourth year in a row, and recognized AOPA President and CEO Mark Baker for his work to defend general aviation against the so-called privatization of air traffic control, in its annual roundup of industry representation on Capitol Hill.
“Baker has put general aviation at the center of the debate over privatizing air traffic control, persuading a number of wavering lawmakers to oppose the plan,” the article reported.
AOPA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Advocacy Jim Coon pointed out the association’s other recent victories under Baker’s leadership, including BasicMed, and helping shepherd a new process to get modern equipment into the cockpit.
“We’ve seen great success with BasicMed, with nearly 23,000 pilots now utilizing the new program since May,” said Coon. “AOPA is also busy fighting egregious pricing at certain fixed-base operations, and continues to work with the FAA and other strategic partners to help ensure that more affordable modern equipment for certified aircraft can be installed.”
Beyond advocating for top issues on behalf of general aviation, AOPA also has been influential in efforts to grow the pilot population through its You Can Fly initiatives. Just this year, the program was responsible for creating 25 new flying clubs and helping nearly 5,000 rusty pilots return to active flying status. Meanwhile, AOPA’s high school curriculum has been implemented in 29 schools across 17 states with more than 600 students currently testing the ninth grade material.
In 2017, AOPA was also named one of Frederick, Maryland’s Top 50 Businesses, as well as one of the Healthiest Maryland Businesses, and the Best Place to Work in Frederick, and received a Certificate of Recognition—Wellness at Work Award, recognizing Frederick employers dedicated to work-site wellness.