Mr. Mark Baker, President, and CEO of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) recently thanked The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation (MOTA) for its ongoing commitment to general aviation (GA). In a plaque presented to the Ministry, Mr. Baker “thanked and commended the MOTA for its ongoing commitment to general aviation and for its outstanding support and dedication in the preparation of its 2017 Fly into The Bahamas from Tampa, Florida”. The fly in which took place, October 29-31, into Grand Bahama following AOPA’s annual general convention in Tampa, was organized by Bahamas Flying Ambassador, Captain Mike Zidziunas and Captain Greg Rolle, pilot and Sr. Director of Sports and Vertical Markets, MOTA.
Five AOPA pilots participated in the fly in. “The Bahamas is one of the most popular destinations for general aviation pilots, and we would love to see this continue and even grow said Mr. Baker. Along with Canada and Mexico, they represent 86 percent of annual international GA flights from the United States”. Captain Rolle said, “The Bahamas truly enjoys its wonderful partnership and relationship with AOPA, which has proven to be, invaluable for the country. With our multiple islands chain and airports, scattered over 100,000 square miles of crystal clear water and our close proximity to
the USA, pilots have found it easy, convenient and enjoyable to fly into our beautiful islands,” he said. AOPA, which has a membership of approximately 400,000, is the largest aviation association in the world. The non-profit organization serves as political advocates for pilots, air safety, and utility and is dedicated to improving general aviation worldwide. The Bahamas was the first country to accept pilots flying into the country using BasicMed, the FAA’s new medical certification, which allows pilots flying non-commercial aircrafts weighing less than 6,000 pounds to forgo using their third class medical certificates, an initiative lobbied for by AOPA.
They are also the publishers of the AOPA Pilots Guides for The Bahamas and the Caribbean, which provides runway and navigational information, customs and immigration procedures and safety and survival tips.