This year proved to be a good one for AOPA’s advocacy team as we earned recognition by both the National Institute for Lobbying & Ethics (NILE) and The Hill publication for our work in protecting the freedom to fly.
AOPA was named among other key players from the nation’s biggest companies, advocacy groups, and labor unions whose voices were heard in the nation’s capital. Representing our more than 300,000 members, AOPA’s advocacy team works tirelessly to protect our flying freedoms and ensures general aviation is represented at the federal, state, and local levels.
AOPA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Jim Coon also earned recognition as a top lobbyist by NILE. Coon was one of 100 lobbyists, political action committee managers, and grassroots professionals from across the nation chosen for the distinction.
Paul Miller, NILE chairman of the board, said, “This distinction is so special because it was designed by lobbyists, judged by lobbyists, for lobbyists. Our profession can be easily misunderstood by the public and our contribution to government is often overlooked. This distinction begins to show the positive side of incredible professionals in the lobbying profession who are making a real difference.”
AOPA’s government affairs experts work to advance the interests of pilots, aircraft owners, and GA with Congress and agencies including the FAA, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration and Customs and Border Protection, the Department of Defense, the Federal Communications Commission, and the NTSB. AOPA also works at the state and local levels to protect airports and promote GA-friendly policies.
Over the years, the government affairs team has been able to achieve some major wins on behalf of our membership.
“I am honored and proud of this recognition. We still have much work to do, but this recognition is a testament to our effective work in Washington, D.C., and in regions across the country. Our members are very engaged and deserve a lot of credit for this. We will continue to work hard every day to ensure general aviation is promoted, protected, and has a seat at the table,” said Baker.