Sheehan Retires At IAOPA

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Pilots the world over share common concerns about the future of general aviation, and the International Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association is ensuring GA's interests are heard when decisions are made that might affect private aviation, says the outgoing chief administrator of IAOPA. Secretary-General John Sheehan retired from the post April 30 and said his 15 years there revealed two common threats to GA everywhere: airspace allocation and the future demise of avgas. Sheehan told AVweb in a podcast interview that GA almost always takes a back seat to commercial interests when airspace decisions are made and IAOPA has been able to mitigate the threat to the freedom to fly many times. He also noted that avgas availability is a universal concern as is the patchwork of regulation between jurisdictions, particularly regarding the certification of small aircraft. "Where are our affordable light aircraft going to come from?" he said.

Sheehan said universal acceptance of the U.S. model for light sport aircraft is gaining traction at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on which IAOPA has a permanent but non-voting seat. He said the goal is to have worldwide acceptance of the ASTM standard process for certifying little airplanes so they can be sold and used for flight training and promoting GA in all countries under the same rules. Sheehan will continue to work in aviation as auditor manager for the International Business Aviation Council.