EAA's Culture Key to Growing Aviation
Hightower Part of GA Panel in Wichita
EAA President Rod Hightower speaks at the Wichita Aero Club On-Air Summit, along with fellow panelists Ed Bolen, NBAA president/CEO; Pete Bunce, GAMA president; former EAA staff member Henry Ogrodzinski, now CEO of the NASAO; and Andrew Broom, AOPA vice president of communications.
December 2, 2010 — There’s no city in America more committed to aviation than Wichita, Kansas, because of its many aviation manufacturing and supplier companies. EAA president Rod Hightower saw that firsthand on Tuesday, November 30, and heard the message clearly: The aviation industry is looking to the unique culture and abilities of EAA to help grow and revitalize general aviation.
“What I saw in Wichita was a group of people extremely committed to bring more people into aviation,” Hightower said after speaking on a panel of GA association leaders before more than 200 people at the Wichita Aero Club’s “On-Air Summit.”
“The aviation industry sees EAA as a front-runner to sparking the growth of aviation because of our activities and programs,” Hightower said.
Joining Hightower on the panel were Ed Bolen, president/CEO of the National Business Aviation Association; Pete Bunce, president of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association; former EAA staff member Henry Ogrodzinski, now CEO of the National Association of State Aviation Officials; and Andrew Broom, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association vice president of communications.
Hightower outlined the urgency of growing aviation through participation, especially with pilot starts. He pointed to some studies that show as few as 20 percent of all those who begin flight training ever earn a pilot certificate.
Along with some already available tools, such as EAA’s chapter network and the immensely successful Young Eagles program as well as aircraft tours and the annual AirVenture fly-in at Oshkosh, EAA is developing more ways to introduce people to flying and spark their interest in actively participating in aviation.