July 26, 2009 - Oshkosh, Wisconsin - There
is an essential side of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh that most visitors and most
EAA members don’t see, but it is vitally important to the vitality and
the future of sport aviation. Behind all the excitement—the air shows,
the display aircraft, the commercial displays, the portable toilets—groups
of people will gather in quiet corners of the convention grounds to work
out solutions to the challenges facing sport aviation and general
These working sessions—held throughout
the week at Oshkosh— bring together EAA staff, EAA members, aircraft
type club members, representatives of general aviation industry groups,
and aircraft owners, pilots, and mechanics.
Also taking part in many of these
brainstorming and problem-solving sessions are hundreds of government
aviation officials, from local airport managers to the FAA administrator.
Oshkosh is the place where government aviation officials come to talk
with, listen to, learn from, and work with grassroots aviation. Not “a
place,” but “THE place.”
As important and as productive as these
meetings are, they are only a microcosm of the work carried out year-round
by the EAA government relations staff on behalf of EAA members and the EAA
community. In some of the meetings this week, joint EAA/FAA work groups
will report on progress made on various regulatory issues. Other meetings
with legislators, regulators, and aviation groups will initiate
conversations and projects that will continue through the rest of the
year, to promote and preserve sport aviation.
EAA maintains a full-time presence in
Washington, D.C., to track issues that could affect EAA members and to
lobby on behalf of EAA members and the general aviation community. Doug
Macnair, EAA vice president for governmental affairs, works with
legislators, government agencies, and other general aviation organizations
to ensure that EAA members’ views and concerns are well-represented in
our nation’s capital.
None of these government advocacy efforts
would be possible without EAA members. Your numbers—160,000 strong—give
EAA credibility and clout. Your membership and your support of EAA
programs give EAA the resources for effective government advocacy. When
you join EAA or renew your membership, you are making a direct investment
in the future of general aviation.
From its very beginnings, more than half a
century ago, EAA has employed a unique approach to government advocacy.
Founder Paul Poberezny was determined to deal with the government not as
an adversary, but as a partner committed to finding solutions. Today, FAA
officials tell us that they need to be here at EAA AirVenture and that
they enjoy coming here because of the collaborative atmosphere they find
in Oshkosh, during AirVenture and beyond.
In countless ways, big and small, EAA is
standing up for general aviation, working hard to reduce the cost and
complexity of participating in the dream of flight. We need your
participation. Through EAA, your voice and your efforts do make a
Visit the Welcome Center at EAA AirVenture
Oshkosh or go online to www.EAA.org
to find easy and effective ways that you can Stand Up for GA.