Named Association's First-Ever VP Of Aviation Security
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association told ANN Friday of
the hiring of Craig Spence to fill the newly-created position of
vice president of aviation security. Spence is a long-time general
aviation pilot who spent most of his career in airport and aviation
security... and the pilot advocacy group says he will bring
that GA sensibility, along with security saavy, to his new
"AOPA has long recognized and addressed the challenges facing
general aviation in the post-9/11 atmosphere," said Andy Cebula,
AOPA’s executive vice president of government affairs.
"Bringing Craig on board means that we have someone who understands
both the needs of our members and the ways of the security
"I've been involved in general aviation since I first went
flying with my father at about age one," said Spence. "I've been a
member of AOPA since the 1980s. And I've spent nearly 20 years in
airport and aviation security. So I'm looking forward to working to
find answers that impose the least possible burden on AOPA members
while still addressing the nation's security needs."
Immediately prior to joining AOPA, Spence was the program
manager for Geospatial and Aerospace Systems in the DHS's Office of
Operations Coordination. In that capacity, he served as the
subject-matter expert on all matters pertaining to aviation and
geospatial systems, liaison with numerous government and civilian
aerospace and geospatial agencies and stakeholders, and was the DHS
headquarters representative on various aviation working groups.
Spence has served as the briefer for Assistant Secretary for
Transportation Security Kip Hawley, and prior to joining TSA, was
the security coordinator for a major air carrier hub airport. He is
a colonel in the United States Air Force Reserve, and holds a
commercial pilot certificate with instrument and multi-engine
ratings. He has more that 2,500 military flight hours in large,
turbine-powered multi-engine aircraft.
"AOPA has been a major player in helping to enhance general
aviation security," said Cebula. "Our aim is to continue that
leadership and to make sure any security changes make sense."
With over 415,000 members, AOPA is the world's largest civil