FREDERICK, MD - The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association on Thursday announced the formation of a special advisory council to the General Aviation Serves America campaign. National Air Transportation Association (NATA) President and CEO James K. Coyne has agreed to chair the council, which will help ensure that opinion leaders, policy- and lawmakers, and the public at large understand the full breadth and scope of general aviation.
"Jim Coyne and NATA represent vital segments of general aviation," said AOPA President Craig L. Fuller, "the fixed base operators (FBOs) who provide essential airport services, charter air service providers, and flight schools. His experience as a pilot and a leader in the aviation industry, as well as his time on Capitol Hill, will provide valuable insight as we stand up to the significant challenges general aviation faces today."
AOPA launched the General Aviation Serves America campaign last month to combat the economic, regulatory, and legislative difficulties besetting general aviation. The campaign's premise is that widespread misconceptions about general aviation are at the root of all these challenges.
"I truly don't believe that regulators and legislators are out to 'get' a $150 billion industry," said Fuller. "They and their constituents just don't understand what general aviation is and all that it contributes to the economic and social fabric of the nation. All of us in GA must stand together and define ourselves, showing the importance of the vital link we provide in the transportation system. Because if we do not, others whose priorities do not include general aviation will."
"NATA, along with our Board of Directors and members, is pleased to support this fantastic initiative," said Coyne. "Through General Aviation Serves America, we will dispel the myths about our community and promote the significant, meaningful contributions we make to our nation's economy, supply chain, and, in some regions of the country, even the standard of living. As chairman of the GA Serves America Advisory Council, I pledge to help generate the momentum we need to tell the real story of general aviation to the public, policy makers and opinion leaders."
Through targeted broadcast, print, and online advertising, General Aviation Serves America is telling general aviation's story in a way that many in the non-flying public have never heard before. The campaign is funded by AOPA, its members, and those, like NATA and its members, who are interested in seeing this vital sector of the American economy survive and thrive.