AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - 6

PRESIDENT'S POSITION

Spring is in the air

BY MARK BAKER
President and CEO

A hopeful end to our winter of discontent
SPRING. WHAT A WONDERFUL SEASON and metaphor
for where we all are in the pandemic. There are thousands of clichés about things blooming, opening up,
springing eternal, and more. But what they all have
in common is that we have real reason to hope and
celebrate.
I've pointed out in previous columns the many
ways general aviation has weathered the COVID
storm relatively well, and even helped the country
fight the pandemic by moving people and supplies
to where they were needed most.
We should be proud of how our GA community
has navigated the past year and, in some cases, has
quite literally been a lifesaver. As we've seen through
the pandemic, and with such natural disasters as
wildfires, airports are key staging sites for relief.
Many have been used to transfer vaccines and med-

One of the things I have missed most
over the past year is seeing you-our
members.

AOPA President
MARK BAKER is a
commercial pilot
with single and
multiengine land
and seaplane
ratings, and a
rotorcraft rating.

6 | AOPA PILOT May 2021

ical equipment, ferry needed personnel, and host
medical clinics.
As we turn to longer days and warmer temperatures, I'm sensing a spirit of renewal everywhere I
look. Call it " spring fever, " but I am seeing more pilots
in the skies across the country. Not that there was a big
slowdown in general aviation (there wasn't!), but we
are on our way to what will be considered " normal. " I
know flight schools are busy, and good luck finding a
used Cessna 172 on the market! All great signs.
I am also happy to see that our counterparts
on the airline side are seeing traffic and revenue
rebounding. On March 12, TSA screened 1.3 million
passengers on a single day-the most since March of
last year, giving hope for a return to business as usual.
Not only are we flying more, but we are flying
more safely. We're off to the best start we've had in
more than 20 years and I am optimistic that this trend
will continue. While many of us have remained in
the air over the past few months, I know some pilots
(and aircraft) are taking to the skies for the first time

in a while. I encourage returning pilots to explore
the valuable free material and guidance our AOPA
Air Safety Institute offers to aviators, as well as the
Rusty Pilots program from our AOPA You Can Fly
initiative. Safety is, and always should be, our number-one priority.
One of the things I have missed most over the
past year is seeing you-our members. Aviators are
a social sort, and I know we're all looking forward to
getting back together as conditions continue to permit. Our Outreach team is hard at work creating an
exciting, albeit different, events strategy for the rest
of the year, so that we can share this passion for flying-together. Come join us August 27 in Manassas,
Virginia, and October 1 in Fort Worth, Texas, for
Aviator Showcases. Look for details on other events
coming soon. I can't wait to see you all again.
As we return to normalcy, I want to encourage
everyone to continue doing your part in ensuring GA
stays healthy. While we're coming out of this pandemic strong, there is still much work to be done for
our industry to continue to grow.
As we're allowed to gather more, invite some nonpilots to fly with you. We know there's nothing like
experiencing flight first-hand, and that's how many of
us were bitten by the bug. Show your friends the fun
and freedom, and perhaps, we will have a new aviator.
On that note of opening the skies, let's also open
up our airports. When I travel around the country,
I love to visit the local airport to see what exciting
things are happening on the ground. Too often, I'm
greeted by barbed-wire fences. Yes, we need a measure of safety and security, but we all need to make
sure there are as few barriers to aviation as possible.
Making airports more welcoming-perhaps, hosting
aviation days-would be a great way to build interest
in learning to fly.
Just like any industry, we can't predict the future,
but we are learning to adapt. And, I think we've
done better than most could have expected. We are a
resilient bunch as pilots, but more so as AOPA members-more than 300,000 strong.
As the season is upon us, I'm reminded of the old
proverb: " No matter how long the winter, spring is
sure to follow. " 
AOPA
EMAIL mark@aopa.org



AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021

Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - Intro
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - Cover1
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - Cover2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - 2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - 3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - 4
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - 5
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - 6
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - 7
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - Cover3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - Cover4
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