Decision time 2012 for general aviation

In a special report in AOPA’s Aviation eBrief, AOPA President Craig Fuller urges general aviation pilots to get involved in this year’s elections, saying “With a presidential election on the horizon, this is a big year for every American, but perhaps even more so for members of the general aviation community.”

“The public servants we elect this year will make decisions that affect our freedom to fly for decades to come,” he continued. “Will we have user fees? Will NextGen receive funding to move forward? Will the GPS spectrum be protected? Will GA have access to airspace and airports? Will avgas continue to be available while we await a replacement? Will new taxes drive up the cost of flying? The answers depend a great deal on who occupies the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives. Governors, too, play an important role in determining the fate of general aviation. And you play an important role in who gets elected.

“So I strongly encourage you to get involved in the political process and let your voice be heard by the state and federal candidates in your region. Attend political events. Contact the candidates. Let them know that general aviation matters to you and that you vote. You may be surprised by just how responsive political candidates can be. They know that every vote counts, and they really do care about what matters to voters.

“The past year was a good one in many ways. We fended off user fees, helped defeat numerous state tax proposals, and saw general aviation pilots rally around the issues that affect our flying.

“This year we can have an even greater impact. AOPA will take part in both parties’ national conventions. And our Political Action Committee will help support candidates who support GA. But we can’t do it alone. Our voice is strong because of our 400,000 members. I hope you’ll stand up for what you believe and do your part to make the voice of GA heard in 2012.”

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