AOPA President and CEO Craig Fuller Friday detailed AOPA's drive to safeguard general aviation's interests and build the pilot population, calling on members to "get personally engaged" in protecting and promoting GA. AOPA announced it will be reaching out through a variety of venues and asking its members to stay informed, write local officials, host events if able and simply take a non-pilot friend flying. Nearly one-third of Senators are up for election in 2010, and AOPA is asking you to voice your support for GA with your vote. To facilitate your role, AOPA has launched a Web page with ideas meant to further your involvement and help you become active in advocating for general aviation. For its part, AOPA plans to produce data from future economic studies to fully detail the economic impact general aviation airports provide for communities and states. Says Fuller, that's information "we can and will take to Washington," where numbers often speak louder than words.
AOPA is hoping its own events to educate pilots will help inspire individual pilots to then organize events of their own. The organization is going to work with flight schools to try to increase the graduation rate, which currently sits near 30 percent, according to AOPA. Aside from its push to create ambassadors of flight from pilots, Fuller said AOPA will be actively engaged in discussions on air traffic modernization, aviation safety and funding issues central to the interests of general aviation pilots.