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Wed, Jul 06, 2005

Reminder: Secure Your Plane

AOPA Warns Pilots Against Fanning Flames Of Public Opinion

It doesn't take much to ignite public fears about terrorism these days, and all too often those fears seem to center around general aviation. So when two small airplanes were stolen and taken for joyrides in recent weeks, it garnered a lot of negative attention from the general media, the public, and the politicians. That's why AOPA is urging all pilots to be more vigilant than ever about security -- especially when it comes to the airplanes they fly.

In special letters sent this week to flight instructors and FBOs, AOPA President Phil Boyer reminded them just how important it is to secure every airplane, all the time.

"What's hurting us doesn't have to happen. And you are an important key in stopping the threat to GA," he wrote.

That threat comes, in part, in the form of additional regulation that could make it more difficult and more expensive to fly. In response to recent events, several members of Congress have already asked if more security is needed, and they are calling for an investigation into the possibility of general aviation aircraft being used for criminal or terrorist acts. At least one state, Connecticut, has ordered a "security audit" of all GA airports, and other states are considering similar actions.

"We know from recent surveys that virtually all AOPA members secure their aircraft," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Unfortunately, that's not good enough. We need every pilot — renters and owners alike — to secure their airplanes. Politicians and the public already fear GA — largely because they don't understand it — and we just can't afford to give them any more reasons to impose security restrictions on us."

FMI: www.aopa.org

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