AOPA members are well informed and politically active so it is with some trepidation that I write this blog. My apology if it seems a bit too basic but sometimes it’s just too easy to overlook the obvious.

With Primary Elections taking place and a nationally significant General Election looming, I hope we will remember how important our state and local elections are to General Aviation as well. Support for local airports starts at home and extends to all of our state capitols as well. This is where we AOPA Regional Managers do most of our work, so we are acutely aware of how important it is that your local elected officials, State Representatives and Senators be informed advocates for general aviation and supporters of local airports. Local, constituent pilots play an incredibly important role in assuring that those elected to office closest to home are confirmed advocates. Meeting candidates seeking public office and getting to know them is so important. Learn up close and personally about how knowledgeable they are about aviation and airports. Help them understand the benefits for their entire community.

There’s a great section in the AOPA website that will help your advocacy efforts. Under ADVOCACY, it’s entitled AOPA Resources for You. One important section is “Candidate Forums”. Putting one of these together and inviting candidates for office right there at home is very powerful. And you will feel so good about doing this when it’s over.

We would like to hear your stories about your own advocacy efforts, even if it’s just that you have taken a candidate for office to coffee. It’s the seemingly little things that make a huge difference. Special thanks for getting involved!

  • Jack Tyler

    To ‘pile on’ for just a moment, Bob’s appeal couldn’t be more appropriate here in Florida. Unlike many states and despite having the 2nd largest pilot population in the country, we lack a state pilots association. Thus, we have no coordinated, politically acknowledged & influential voice in aviation matters. The only antidote I’ve found is 1:1 meetings & conversations with legislative aides and office holders. The downside? How few Florida pilots who seem willing to make even that much effort. Are we perhaps intimidated, or do we feel like we’re touching soiled goods? Don’t be reticent, speak out for the benefits of GA. And let’s not forget to mention the benefits of our 450 private air parks & airstrips, four times the number of public airports in Florida.