March 5, 2015

The Michigan aviation community will converge on the state capitol building in Lansing on March 17, when the Michigan Business Aviation Association (MBAA) and the Michigan Association of Airport Executives hold their annual Legislative Day. Christa Fornarotto, NBAA’s vice president of government affairs, will be the featured speaker at this year’s event, which draws aviation stakeholders from around the state, and also serves as the annual meeting for MBAA.

Tara Paksi, administrative director of MBAA, said that Legislative Day has been held annually since 1999 and is an opportunity for aviation advocates to meet with Michigan legislators and educate them about the importance of aviation in the state. “The critical need for funding for the aviation infrastructure in our state is always on the agenda,” said Paksi, noting that educational materials about aviation in Michigan are also distributed to state lawmakers during the event.

Fornarotto said she plans on presenting the latest information on national aviation issues, such as the upcoming FAA reauthorization process, preserving airport and airspace access, privacy issues relating to the implementation of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) and updates on the regulation of unmanned aircraft systems. “I also look forward to meeting with individual members of the Michigan state legislature,” she said.

Bob Quinn, NBAA’s Midwest regional representative, said that Legislative Day has long been an effective and well-organized way for the Michigan aviation community to reach out to elected officials.

“Protection of funding for general aviation in the state of Michigan is always an important issue, and Legislative Day provides a wonderful opportunity to educate the legislators and continue that dialogue,” said Quinn. “MBAA is to be commended for its dedication and hard work in holding this important annual event.”

Last month, NBAA’s Vice President of Government Affairs Dick Doubrava, also visited Michigan, participating on a panel about FAA reauthorization at the annual Michigan Airport Conference in East Lansing. The Feb. 19 conference was co-sponsored by the Michigan Association of Airport Executives and the Michigan Department of Transportation Office of Aeronautics.