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AOPA leaders nominated to new safety committee

Two AOPA leaders were among 22 industry leaders named to the new committee formed to advise the federal government on aviation safety and certification in the aftermath of the Boeing 737 Max crashes.

The U. S. Department of Transportation is one of the many government agencies that have influence over general aviation. Photo by David Tulis.

AOPA Board of Trustees member William Ayer was nominated as Chairman of the Safety Oversight and Certification Advisory Committee (SOCAC), representing the interests of business aviation operators on the committee. With an extensive aviation background beginning in 1981, Ayer has served on the FAA Management Advisory Council and as chair of the NextGen Advisory Committee. He is also a member of the, NBAA Board of Directors, and serves on the Board of Honeywell International. Ayer also spent much of his career at Alaska Air Group, where he served as CEO through 2012, then as chairman through 2013.

Shelly deZevallos, who serves on the AOPA Foundation Board of Advisors, was also nominated to the new panel. She has a background with Cessna Aircraft and more than 4,000 hours of flight time, making her an ideal candidate to bring knowledge of general aviation safety and pilot training best practices. DeZevallos also served as a regional representative for AOPA, where she managed work on legislative initiatives across the Southwest, and is currently a member of AOPA’s Airport Access Advisory Panel. DeZavallos is the Vice President of the West Houston Airport and President of Texans for General Aviation.

In an April 10 letter to Secretary Elaine Chao, AOPA and NBAA encouraged the secretary to nominate Ayer and deZevallos to represent the general aviation industry as each offers significant expertise that would help guide the SOCAC.

AOPA President and CEO Mark Baker congratulated the nominees: “Both Bill and Shelly are extremely qualified individuals whose outstanding ability and experience will serve the committee well as they represent the interests of general aviation.”

Along with union, airport and trade association officials, the board includes leaders from: Delta Air Lines, GE Aviation, United Airlines, Bell Textron, Garmin, Wing Aviation LLC, Pratt & Whitney, and Gulfstream Aerospace.

Amelia Walsh
Communications and Research Specialist
AOPA Comms and Research Specialist Amelia Walsh joined AOPA in 2017. Named after the famous aviatrix, she's a private pilot working on her instrument rating in a Colombia 350.
Topics: Advocacy, AOPA, Aviation Industry

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