Expect third class medical reform in 2015

AOPA Petition

At the last Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) regional fly-in of the year, pilots clamored to sign a giant petition calling for reform of the third class medical.

It’s a scene that’s been played out at all the AOPA events throughout the year, association officials say, reporting that more than 10,000 signatures have been garnered since the petition first appeared at SUN ’n FUN. The panel that was at McKinnon St. Simons Island Airport (KSSI) in Georgia was the 10th panel.

“It’s been really popular,” said Steve Hedges, AOPA’s spokesman.

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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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