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Alexandria, Va. – HAI President Matt Zuccaro attended an airshow and town hall meeting July 12-13 in Tarkio, Missouri, sponsored by Sam Graves (R-Mo.), chair of the U.S. House of Representatives General Aviation Caucus.

HAI President Matt Zuccaro (left) attended an air show and GA town hall sponsored by Rep. Sam Graves (right).

Congressman Graves, an experienced pilot and aircraft owner, flew a number of aircraft as part of the night air show on Friday 12th, before moderating the general aviation town hall meeting the following day.

The town hall meeting centered on a panel, with each speaker discussing topics and issues that affect their particular segment of general aviation. However, it quickly became apparent that the issues discussed actually affect all segments of general aviation. Accordingly, it was noted that the strength of general aviation lies within the unity of the various associations represented at the meeting.

On the panel were (shown from left to right in the above photo) John Duncan, FAA deputy director of flight standards; John Cudahy, president of the International Council of Air Shows; Tom Hendricks, president of the National Air Transportation Association; Ed Bolen, president of the National Business Aviation Association; Sean Elliott, V.P. of advocacy and safety for the Experimental Aircraft Association; Matt Zuccaro, president of HAI (shown speaking); Craig Fuller, president of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association; Pete Bunce, president of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association; Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.); Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure committee; Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), chair of the House General Aviation Caucus and air show/town hall sponsor.

Matt Zuccaro focused on the shortage of qualified and experienced pilots and mechanics within the helicopter industry – an issue also affecting other segments of general aviation. He also noted the difficulty of dealing with burdensome regulations and legislations that are having a negative effect on helicopter operations in terms of operational efficiency and economic viability.

The town hall meeting was well attended by people whose lives are connected to GA in a variety of different ways.

Zuccaro noted that "this Tarkio airshow and town hall meeting was one of the most productive and enjoyable general aviation venues I have attended. This event in the heartland of America represents the very essence of general aviation as it was meant to be. The GA community is indeed fortunate to have supporters such as Sam Graves serving in Congress. I definitely intend to return next year."

Posted in: HAI at Work
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