The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association ran a series of television commercials on The Weather Channel during the Christmas season. They showed many benefits of general aviation, from assisting with hurricane relief efforts to air ambulance and other humanitarian flying.
They emphasized that GA is a vital part of American life which poses no threat.
“General aviation is key to many aspects of American life,” said Jeff Myers, AOPA executive vice president for communications. “There’s no reason to be concerned by small planes flying overhead. No GA aircraft has been used in an act of terror anywhere in the world. Ever!”The commercials ran from Dec. 22 through 31, airing about 125 times when pilots and non-pilots alike were paying close attention to weather forecasts.The TV spots addressed five major themes: That GA is the largest segment of aviation; it flies to all 5,400 public-use airports, not just the handful serviced by airlines; it is the training ground for the airlines and the military; it is a critical part of the transportation system; and it is not a terrorist threat.”Its message to the public, media, and politicians is clear, forceful, and unequivocal,” Myers said. “The aircraft and pilots of America’s GA community represent a powerful – and largely underappreciated – asset to the U.S.”The commercials were expected to reach more than 30 million viewers and direct them to GAServingAmerica.org, which demonstrates the benefits of GA and the many steps taken to keep airports and airplanes safe and secure. The site also highlights valuable roles of GA such as shipping packages, protecting crops and catching criminals.