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Wed, Dec 08, 2004

Boyer, ICAO Talk About Value Of GA

AOPA Chief: "There's More To Aviation Than The Airlines"

When aviation leaders from around the world get together, the conversation naturally turns to talk of air traffic control, airport access, regulation, and security. These issues affect every pilot and every flight everywhere in the world — but too often aviation officials think only of the airlines.

So during a visit to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) headquarters in Montreal earlier this month, AOPA President Phil Boyer reminded an audience of ICAO Air Navigation Commission members and international delegates that general aviation brings tremendous transportation and economic benefit to the communities where it is welcomed.

"General aviation can thrive on the edges of the aviation infrastructure, but it can also be crushed by excessive restrictions on access to airports and airspace, high fees, and unnecessary regulation," Boyer said following the meeting. "It's important for ICAO representatives to understand that there's more to aviation than the airlines."

In a wide-ranging presentation to ICAO's technical advisory body, Boyer talked about the need to ensure that regulations, fees, licensing and medical standards, and equipment requirements for general aviation are appropriate and not needlessly expensive or restrictive. He also pointed out GA's strong safety record and asked ICAO's delegates to remember the value and unique needs of general aviation.

"General aviation adds an exciting and varied dimension to international air transportation, providing economic and travel opportunities to millions of world travelers," Boyer said. "This important activity deserves fair and equitable consideration in your deliberations about future civil aviation standards and recommended practices."

Assad Kotaite, president of the Council of ICAO (shown shaking hands with Boyer, above), complimented Boyer on his informative presentation, adding, "You can be assured that the interests of general aviation will be carefully considered in our deliberations."

And just to make sure that GA isn't forgotten, Boyer presented top-level officials, including Bill Voss, director of ICAO's air navigation bureau, with large framed photographs of general aviation aircraft.

"Having images like these on the walls of ICAO headquarters is a great reminder that aviation comes in all shapes and sizes," Boyer said.

FMI: www.aopa.org

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