by Craig Fuller
President & CEO Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association
Like most multifaceted organizations, AOPA is made up of a number of divisions that specialize in serving our members in specific ways, allowing each division to develop the expertise, organizational model, and unique skills it needs to most effectively accomplish its mission. That’s why we have groups dedicated to advocacy, communications, member services, and more.
But federal law also limits how those groups can operate—especially when it comes to advocacy. So while AOPA can represent the interests of pilots and aircraft owners before Congress, federal agencies, and state and local governments, we are strictly prohibited from advocating for or against candidates for federal election.
That’s where the AOPA Political Action Committee comes in. The AOPA PAC has been around for more than 30 years, and it serves a vital role in protecting our freedom to fly. The PAC can, and does, take direct action to endorse candidates and provide financial support at election time.
Who does the AOPA PAC support? Candidates who support general aviation interests, of course.
Believe it or not, the next election cycle is already ramping up, making this an important time for the AOPA PAC to demonstrate its financial strength. Candidates for office want to know that the PAC will have the resources to support them if they find themselves in tightly contested races.
We are fortunate to have 29 Senators and 101 members of the House taking part in the general aviation caucuses. Through their participation, they have pledged to consider general aviation’s point of view before voting on issues that can affect our flying now and far into the future. Their support can make the difference when it comes to issues like FAA funding, the future of avgas, and NextGen implementation. And that’s why they deserve our support.
All year I’ve been encouraging AOPA members to get more engaged with general aviation. There’s no easier or more effective way to do that than by making a contribution to the AOPA PAC. Your contribution, when added to those of thousands of your fellow pilots, can help ensure that the general aviation community has a voice in Congress today and tomorrow. I encourage you to join me in becoming a contributor to the AOPA Political Action Committee. You can learn more about what the PAC does online at www.aopa.org/members/pac.