Baker To Participate In FAA Virtual GA Town Hall

AOPA President Mark Baker will join FAA Administrator Steve Dickson and industry leaders for a virtual General Aviation Town Hall on June 18 to discuss GA’s recovery in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic along with ways pilots can get back in the air safely and operators can resume business.

The town hall will stream live on the FAA’s Facebook page and YouTube channel and will consist of two panel discussions from 1 to 3 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

The first panel will discuss how GA is recovering, what GA operations might look like during and after the pandemic, and the challenges industry leaders are facing, along with best practices on how to handle those challenges. The second panel will address pilots returning to the air safely in airworthy aircraft after a period of being grounded by the pandemic. Airport operations and quarantine rules will also be discussed.

As many state quarantine orders began lifting in late May and early June, pilots started returning to the sky. GA activity has rebounded stronger than commercial traffic. ForeFlight CEO and Cofounder Tyson Weihs told AOPA Live This Week in an interview for the May 21 show that the previous week, the app company had seen the same number of flight plans filed through the EFB as the previous year. Also in May, the Cessna Skyhawk was often the most popular airplane in the sky, frequently beating out all variants of the Boeing 737 combined. Even better, according to traffic monitoring reports that AOPA’s advocacy team receives, GA appears to have returned to its seasonal norm. On June 6, for example, traffic surpassed the seasonal norm.

To help pilots return safely to flight after a period of grounding, the AOPA Air Safety Institute partnered with Hartzell Propeller to develop a six-step return-to-flight proficiency plan. AOPA released a COVID-19 Flight Operations Guide for businesses to resume and sustain operations.

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