AOPA’s Frontline Advocates – Airport Support Network Volunteers

by Bryan Budds, Manager
AOPA Great Lakes Region

As promised in an earlier Great Lakes Regional Report, I mentioned my desire to help general aviation pilots and others in the industry understand how AOPA’s Airports and State Advocacy team does its work to help protect and promote general aviation airports. One critical component of our efforts is the cadre of more than 2,500 volunteers that make up AOPA’s Airport Support Network (ASN).

These volunteers are the eyes and ears of AOPA’s efforts to ensure vibrant general aviation airports. Since so many of these individuals are based pilots, airport managers, or employees of fixed base operations, they have the local knowledge that can’t be gained from reading FAA master records, airport board minutes, or local news stories. With this local knowledge and AOPA’s staff of airport policy experts, issues at general aviation airports can usually be addressed quickly by the Airports and State Advocacy team.

I mention the ASN program because in my travels, ASN volunteers are always the first to welcome me to their airport and to lend a helping hand. Whether it be at our recent pilot mix and mingle with Wisconsin Senate Leader Mark Miller in Madison, Wisconsin, our local ASN volunteer meeting in Ypsilanti, Michigan, or our AirVenture meeting, our ASN volunteers are always ready and willing to assist. As only a small part of the Airports and State Advocacy staff at AOPA, I am grateful for all of the ASN volunteers and their help in protecting your general aviation airport. So, if you get a chance to talk to your local volunteer, let him or her know you appreciate their help. To find out who your volunteer is or to become the newest ASN volunteer, visit or attend the AOPA Aviation Summit, October 11-13 in Palm Springs, California!

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