By Josh Pruzek, AOPA Northwest Regional Manager
If you are like most aircraft owners, you have a hangar or tiedown space at a public-use airport. And if you live in a major metropolitan area, it may feel like general aviation capacity is being squeezed off the airport. Real estate at these airports is scarce, and GA competes with commercial and cargo operations, and large aviation-related businesses. Federally funded airports adhere to grant assurances that prevent them from discriminating against different classes of aeronautical users, but that doesn’t mean they have to provide space for GA hangars and tiedowns.
AOPA works with its Airport Support Network volunteers, airport support groups, and tenant organizations to ensure that GA has a voice in how the land is used at these busy airports. Recently, AOPA worked with the Washington Seaplane Pilots Association, the Renton Airport Owners and Pilots Association, and the Friends of Boeing Field to protect GA hangar and tiedown capacity at several busy Seattle-area airports.
Learn more about becoming the ASN volunteer at your local airport at aopa.org/advocacy. It’s a great grassroots way to support your local airports.
By Jim McClay, AOPA director, airspace, air traffic, and security
If the saying “knowledge is power” is true, then we as pilots should want to have and share as much knowledge as possible, especially about the weather.
We all know our responsibilities to gather as much weather information as possible before conducting a flight. However, many don’t consider weather information that we can, and should, share with those around us during our flights.
Although modern pilots can summon an immense amount of weather information through the technology at our fingertips, there are still information gaps. One of the most effective tools for filling those gaps is the pilot report (pirep), something that many of us only vaguely remember from our early ground school training.
According to the 2021 AOPA Weather Survey, only 47 percent of respondents “provided unsolicited pireps at least sometimes,” with the remainder rarely or never doing so. The survey indicated a variety of reasons why this might be true, but an alarming number responded that they were not comfortable doing so, did not think they had helpful information to share, or simply did not think about it.
Remember that pireps reporting good conditions are just as important as reports of bad conditions. And filing pireps is relatively easy and quick.
AOPA is involved with FAA and industry efforts designed to make pirep submission both easier and more common. However, without a paradigm shift in pilots’ willingness to issue pireps, the goal of increasing their frequency is likely to remain elusive.
So, before you take your next trip, consider brushing up on how to file a pirep. Then, go fly and, as you do, share what you know with those around you.