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Ron Orozco named Airport Support Network volunteer of the monthRon Orozco named Airport Support Network volunteer of the month

When pilot Ron Orozco heard that the mayor of Lordsburg, New Mexico, was airing ideas about closing Lordsburg Municipal Airport, he didn’t wait for others to take a stand.

AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer Ron Orozco (shown with his wife, Beth, at Negrito Airstrip in Reserve, New Mexico) rallied local airport advocates to action in Lordsburg, New Mexico. Photo by James Brady.

Orozco brought the issue to aviation advocates including AOPA Central Southwest Regional Manager Tom Chandler, the National Business Aviation Association, the New Mexico Airport Managers Association, and the New Mexico Pilots Association. He also worked with the New Mexico Aviation Division to gather key airport facts for a pro-airport presentation.

Appearing before the Hidalgo County Commission in July to solicit support, Orozco—who is now AOPA’s Airport Support Network volunteer for Lordsburg—made his presentation and responded to questions. Orozco's quick, decisive work on this issue led to the mayor backing off his thought of closing the airport.

Within a month of that win, Orozco became actively involved in the opposition of a rule change being proposed by the New Mexico Game and Fish Commission, which would have put general aviation pilots at risk of unknowingly violating rules and potentially suffering legal action. Orozco once again joined forces with representatives of the New Mexico Pilots Association and the Recreational Aviation Foundation to fight a difficult battle. As a group, they rallied support from area pilots and worked to educate New Mexico Game and Fish Commissioners on the issue from a pilot’s perspective. These efforts paid off when the commission voted down the proposed rule change. Since then, Orozco has launched an effort to create a video to educate both pilots and hunters on the central issue the rule was intended to address: game spotting from aircraft.

Orozco exemplifies all the attributes AOPA looks for in an Airport Support Network volunteer, and we honor him as our "Airport Support Network volunteer of the Month" for January.

All aviators benefit when AOPA members step up to protect and promote GA in their area.

Topics: Advocacy, Airport Advocacy

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