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General Aviation is facing the greatest challenges of its 100-year history! Now the two largest pilot organizations in the world have joined together to protect GA Interests, promote GAA Safety, and Grow the GA Community!
General Aviation Serves America came to Wilson Air Center, Charlotte, N.C., on July 20, 2009.
The Presidents of AOPA and NATA recently started traveling around the country, meeting with pilots, aircraft owners and operators, FBO personnel, airport managers, and others to share the General Aviation Serves America message and seek support for their ongoing outreach efforts. The event was organized by the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), the association that represents FBOs and other GA businesses. NATA is also a critical partner in our General Aviation Serves America outreach efforts.
The Charlotte event was hosted by Bob Wilson, President and Founder of Wilson Air Center at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Bob is an active member of AOPA and EAA and has been a pilot for over 30 years. Bob and his wife, Susan, recently donated and dedicated the Timeless Voices of Aviation exhibit at the EAA AirVenture Museum. Mr. Wilson sits on the NBAA Security Sub-Committee aviation boards, and meets regularly with Congressional delegations.
Some 250 people attended and Bob, well-known for his hospitality and customer service, put on a very impressive event, the largest to date. More than a dozen members of the local EAA Chapter 309 volunteered their time to help shepherd guests and provide information, and contributed a beautiful RV-7 to the aircraft display. Naturally, AOPA brought the Let’s Go Flying Sweepstakes Cirrus to be displayed alongside such diverse offerings as business jets, trainers, and turboprops of varying sizes and makes.
It was great to see so many different segments of the aviation community coming together in one place for one purpose—to help protect and promote our freedom to fly. The diversity of the audience and the aircraft, and the active involvement of members of NATA and EAA along with AOPA was a great show of strength and unity.
And at this event, many in the audience were already familiar with the campaign and its goals—great evidence that this message is being heard. They listened attentively as NATA President Jim Coyne and AOPA President and CEO Craig Fuller talked about the issues of greatest concern and the importance of spreading the General Aviation Serves America message. “We’re building momentum behind our message, now it’s up to all of us in aviation to keep it growing!” See the AOPA Charlotte Event Site and be sure to watch the video.