General aviation seems to be finally taking up the issue of public acceptance. The need for it was recognized nearly a half-century ago when manufacturers realized they were selling bigger and more expensive airplanes to the same people. The industry initiated a meager PR program and more aggressive selling, which helped sales pick up.
Another aggressive initiative will be unveiled next month by actor and pilot Harrison Ford at the AOPA Aviation Summit at Tampa.
When “USA Today” ran a front-page story opposing tax dollars going to airports that do not have airline passenger service, much of general aviation went into action. Many individuals and most general aviation-affiliated organizations let the newspaper have it between the eyes. The paper did run a letter from AOPA President Craig Fuller — giving it equal space to the anti-GA story — but it also reiterated its own opposition to GA airport funding.
Charles Spence is GAN’s Washington, D.C., correspondent.