Trying To Foster Public Understanding About GA Flight
With the Wright
brothers now at the forefront of the public's attention, AOPA will
again reach out to explain the benefits of general aviation to the
general public. Starting on December 22, AOPA will sponsor a series
of television ads on the Weather Channel to tell the public about
the benefits general aviation brings to their lives and to promote
the association's educational Web site, General Aviation Serving
"Since the tragedy of the September 11 terrorist attacks,
nothing has been more apparent than the lack of understanding on
the part of the general public of who and what GA is and does,"
said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "All of us need to keep working to
ensure the future of general aviation. But too often we find
ourselves talking to ourselves about all the advantages of GA."
Last year, AOPA members supported the creation of the
world-class Web site, www.GAservingAmerica.org, to
educate the general public, including federal, state, and local
government decision makers, to all that general aviation does for
"But a Web site is only as effective as the number of people
drawn to use it," said Boyer. "So this holiday season, AOPA will
once again reach out to the non-flying public on The Weather
Channel. Viewers will see four different 30-second television
commercials explaining general aviation and directing the viewers
to the GA Serving America Web site to learn more."
The commercials will air more than 100 times between December 22
and January 4, during the busy holiday travel season when many
Americans — not just pilots — are keeping a close eye
on the weather for their own, or family and friends, personal car,
train, bus, or airline travel.
The commercials are expected to reach more than 32 million
While www.GAservingAmerica.org is
aimed primarily at non pilots, it's also useful to pilots to help
them explain general aviation and the critical role it plays, both
in the community and in the national economy, to their friends,
neighbors, and civic leaders.
"It is important that the public understand what general
aviation is, how it works, and what it does for all Americans,"
Boyer (right) said. "What we convey in these ads and with this
Web site is that general aviation is woven into the fabric of
Without general aviation, the quality of life in America would
be vastly reduced. Crop yields from our farms would drop by 50%.
There would be no overnight shipment of packages.
Business and industry would lose their competitive edge in world
markets. Lives would be lost without emergency life flights.
Airline cockpits would be empty. And 145 million people a year
would have no practical way to reach their travel destinations.
"Whether they ever learn to fly or not, the more members of the
general public who take the time to learn something about GA, the
better it is for all of us — pilot and non-pilot alike," said