When pilots run into trouble with threats to their airport, AOPA's Airport Support Network is there, and this year the organization is celebrating 10 years of helping to keep airports open and thriving. The program has nearly 2,000 volunteers across the country who work to support the program's mission to promote, protect, and defend America's community airports. "Saving airports is consistently at the top of members' priority lists," said Andy Cebula, executive vice president of government affairs at AOPA. "We see their passion in the numbers who volunteer their time and energy to protect their local airports, and we encourage all members to get involved." The program was formed in response to feedback from AOPA members who recognized that protecting community airports is a key step in securing general aviation's future and wanted to help. The ASN volunteers are the first reporters and first responders to potential threats against their airports. They communicate regularly with AOPA headquarters staff, who work with them to eliminate or mitigate threats to local airports.
In honor of the anniversary, the Friday morning general session at AOPA Expo will be devoted to celebrating America's general aviation airports. At the session, attendees will hear from AOPA President Phil Boyer, Executive Vice President of Government Affairs Andy Cebula, Airport Support Network and Airports staff, and Airport Support Network volunteers. Challenges and common problems of general aviation airports will be discussed, as well as how local pilots can work with AOPA to secure the future of their airports.