Photo by Aaron Lurth
EAA's Tom Poberezny, left, and AOPA's Craig Fuller give a thumbs
up acknowledging the Memorandum of Understanding signed by both
organizational leaders Wednesday.
July 29, 2009 - Oshkosh, Wisconsin - On
perhaps the only unoccupied patch of concrete on AeroShell Square, the
presidents of AOPA and EAA today signed a memorandum of understanding to
invigorate cooperation and collaboration between the two organizations.
EAA President and Chairman Tom Poberezny
and AOPA President and CEO Craig L. Fuller arrived at the news conference
in Red 3, Poberezny's convention VW, from a gathering of EAA chapter
leaders and volunteers. Poberezny noted that, during the preceding
discussions and in numerous other ongoing communications with members, the
desire among the general aviation community for closer collaboration
between AOPA and EAA is regularly reinforced.
"This document is important … but
it's a piece of paper," Poberezny said. "We can talk the talk
but we have to walk the walk. You, the members of our organizations, have
told us it's your expectation that we put this into action. We can and we
Fuller also focused on the rank-and-file
perspective. Underscoring the good relationship between the two
association presidents, he added, "To truly make this real, we have
to get all the people of general aviation working together. We represent
the two largest pilot organizations in the world. Each has strengths, and
we'll get stronger working together," Fuller said.
Poberezny will join Fuller and AOPA as a
one of general aviation leaders who will open the AOPA Aviation Summit in
Tampa, Florida, on November 5, 2009. In addition, EAA will play a role in
several forums and events at the Summit.
The leaders of both organizations also plan
to host a general aviation roundtable discussion with other industry
stakeholders in the first quarter of 2010.
Under the memorandum of understanding, AOPA
will encourage its members to support EAA's Young Eagles program,
providing first flight opportunities for youth and planting seeds for
long-term growth of the pilot population. EAA will use its grassroots
network to support AOPA's General Aviation Serves America campaign, which
seeks to address the root cause of many of GA's challenges-a poor or
non-existent public perception of general aviation.
The two organizations also strive to work
collaboratively on regulatory and legislative agendas helping to protect
the future of general aviation, and on safety initiatives that promote