AOPA launches $1.5 million campaign to sell GA

Citing challenges facing general aviation, Craig Fuller, president of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, unveiled Monday a $1.5 million advertising and promotion campaign to gain public support to keep government from imposing devastating user fees, airport limitations, and other restrictions on air transportation that serves America.

The program includes radio, television, on-line and print ads featuring how people and businesses use personal aircraft and the services this use gives to the nation. Actor and long-time pilot Harrison Ford, an AOPA member, is volunteering to help tell the story of general aviation. Advertisements include personal reports of how general aviation contributes more than $150 billion into the U.S. economy each year and what this means for local communities, businesses, medical and law enforcement, and other activities.

“General aviation is facing acute challenges from many directions,” Fuller said at a press conference, “which could cause much, if not all, of that economic activity to dry up.”

Challenges include President Obama’s budget plan to impose hefty user fees on flights and concerns over possible airport and airspace restricts.

Through the telling of how “General Aviation Serves America” AOPA hopes to gain a better public understanding of personal and business flight and get more grass roots help for the association’s work with Congress, the FAA, Homeland Security, and other federal and state officials.

The program is just the beginning, Fuller said, of a continuing effort which probably will cover several years before the public fully understands how general aviation serves and must be permitted to continue its valuable work for the nation.

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