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AOPA Air Safety Institute names new leader

Mike Ginter, a leading general aviation advocate and retired U.S. Navy pilot, has been appointed to a new post, leading the AOPA Air Safety Institute.

Former U.S. Navy pilot and longtime general aviation advocate Mike Ginter, pictured briefing pilots for the National Celebration of General Aviation Flyover of Washington, D.C., in May, has been named the new leader of the AOPA Air Safety Institute. Photo by Jake Teague.

“For more than 70 years, the AOPA Air Safety Institute has delivered lifesaving information and education to pilots, and I am honored to be part of continuing that legacy,” said Ginter. “It’s important to meet pilots where they are with practical tools and information they can really use, and no organization does that better than ASI.”

Since 2018, Ginter has served as AOPA’s vice president of airports and state advocacy, spearheading efforts to protect airports, bringing 1,000 new volunteers into the AOPA Airport Support Network, and helping to successfully resolve more than 700 airport issues on behalf of AOPA members. Most recently, he led the effort to plan and execute the successful National Celebration of General Aviation Flyover of Washington, D.C., which highlighted the history and utility of GA aircraft.

Prior to joining AOPA, Ginter spent 27 years in the U.S. Navy, retiring with the rank of captain. During that time, he accrued more than 5,300 flight hours and 555 carrier landings, completed four deployments to the Persian Gulf, commanded a jet squadron, and served as operations officer for the USS John F. Kennedy. In 2003, he led the demonstration team responsible for showcasing the capabilities of the Lockheed S-3 Viking. That same year, his squadron won the Chief of Naval Operations Aviation Safety Award.

Throughout his Navy career, Ginter, who earned his private pilot certificate at 18, continued to fly GA aircraft. He previously owned a North American T–6 Texan, and currently owns a 1972 Beechcraft A36 Bonanza and a Cessna 172, which his wife, Donna, is using for flight training.

“Mike is an active flyer who understands the real-world challenges GA pilots face,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “His down-to-earth approach to making every flight safer resonates with pilots of all experience levels.”

The past few years have been among the safest in GA history, and in his new role as senior vice president of the Air Safety Institute, Ginter is committed to ensuring that trend continues by expanding the reach of ASI’s safety content, delivering data-driven analysis, and exploring new ways to support pilots.

With more than 10 million touches each year, ASI provides award-winning videos, podcasts, publications, reports, online courses, quizzes, CFI renewal programs, and more to help pilots fly safely. The institute’s work is supported by generous donations to the AOPA Foundation.

AOPA Communications staff
AOPA Communications Staff are communicators who specialize in making aerospace, aviation and advocacy information relatable for all.
Topics: AOPA, AOPA Air Safety Institute, AOPA Foundation

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