GA supporters retain seats in Tueday’s election

Key general aviation supporters retained their seats in both chambers of Congress in Tuesday’s election, while two incoming elected officials are members of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, officials with AOPA report.

But retirements and election losses will leave the General Aviation Caucuses in both the House and Senate with some rebuilding to do in 2015, AOPA officials add.

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SMO vote disappointing to GA advocates

A city sponsored ballot initiative — Measure LC — has passed in Santa Monica, Calif., leaving the future of Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO) in the hands of the City Council.

The measure passed with 59% of voters saying “yes” with 90% of precincts reporting Tuesday. At the same time, voters rejected a separate measure — Measure D — that would have given control of the airport’s future to voters.

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Advocacy groups donate to save SMO

Two of GA’s top advocacy groups, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) have contributed more than $540,000 to support a ballot measure in Santa Monica, Calif.,, that would halt efforts to shut down the city’s airport (SMO). According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, the campaign measure has raised about $824,000 as of Oct. 22, mostly from aviation-related interests, aircraft owners, businesses and pilots, including actor Harrison Ford, who stores his aircraft at the airport and donated $25,887.

GA garnering more attention from Washington

WASHINGTON, D.C. — General aviation now seems to be getting more attention in Congress and from the FAA. This observation comes from the appearance of a Congressman and a deputy administrator of the FAA at the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Homecoming Fly-In earlier this month.

Michael Whitaker, FAA deputy administrator with the primary responsibility of developing the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), told a crowd of several hundred that he is getting his pilot’s license “to better understand my job and general aviation issues.”

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Thousands attend AOPA 75th anniversary fly-in

FREDERICK, Md. — Low clouds, gusty winds, and early threats of showers did not keep the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association from having a successful 75th anniversary celebration at its headquarters here Saturday, Oct. 4.

More than 3,000 people attended the homecoming fly-in. According to association officials, 345 aircraft arrived and more than 1,400 cars filled the parking area where drivers and passengers had to slush through wet, grassy areas to reach the paved walkways.

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Minnesota pilot wins AOPA Debonair

AOPA Debonair

FREDERICK, Md. – The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) awarded its 2014 Sweepstakes Airplane, a fully-restored 1963 Beechcraft 35-B33 Debonair, on Sunday, Oct. 5, to Steve Lagergren, an AOPA member from Litchfield, Minn.

Lagergren, who built and flies his own RV-7 kitplane, was flying with another pilot Sunday when AOPA President Mark Baker and AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne flew up alongside him in the Debonair and – on a common radio frequency – informed Lagergren that he had won the airplane.

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