ACA Accomplishments

Selected ACA Accomplishments as of March, 2014

Over the years ACA has attained many objectives, hoping they will help you in your and your group’s work.

Referrals and Promotion: Our website is heavily used as a resource by organizations and individuals seeking the services provided through the groups we list. We recently released a completely new site with automated referral capabilities to better serve those in need.  Using the information you provide us, clients can send automated inquiries, make calls to our toll-free phone number, and send us emails so that those in need can be quickly connected with groups like yours.  That’s why our having your updated information is so important.

Annual National conference: The Air Care convention serves as an open forum for our frank discussions of issues impacting our groups and all our volunteers’ work flying for the public benefit.  Since 1990 we have discussed topics that included insurance and liability concerns, the regulatory environment, safety programs, fundraising techniques, how to develop emergency preparedness programs, intergroup linking, and up to the minute administrative techniques to help make the work go more smoothly.  And we all have fun and get to develop great friendships with other leaders!

Representation with Government:  ACA representatives have provided information and testimony to regulatory and governmental agencies ensuring they understand the capabilities and roles of those flying to help others. ACA has provided groups and pilots appropriate recognition and treatment in rules regarding aviation and nonprofit organizations. In the 90’s we were successful in preventing attempts to stop charitable deductions for pilots’ expenses.  ACA representatives also argued successfully in WashingtonD.C.against proposed Air Tour regulations that could have crippled pilots’ ability to fly charitable missions.  ACA continues work on the issue of fuel reimbursement.

National Awards: Working with the National Aeronautic Association we have created an enduring set of national awards, presented in the U.S. Capitol Building and other venues.  In this way we celebrate the accomplishments of public benefit flying volunteers and their groups, thus highlighting this work before Congress, aviation leaders, and the public.

Media Relations: ACA enjoys an excellent relationship with aviation and general media outlets, and refers reporters to individual groups so their stories can be told.  AOPA and ACA also collaborated on a successful outreach campaign.

Safety Initiatives: The AOPA Air Safety Foundation and ACA first collaborated in the development of a safety guide for pilots and a companion video, distributed to all volunteer pilot groups in 1999. More recently the AOPA Foundation’s Air Safety Institute worked with ACA and its Members to develop an excellent online safety course geared specifically for volunteer pilots and charitable operations.  Safety continues to be a main topic at our Air Care conferences and we hope all groups keep this as the highest priority in their work with their pilots.

International Public Benefit Flying Call Sign “COMPASSION:” In 1998 ACA worked with the FAA in Washingtonto draft procedures and institute an international ICAO call sign. COMPASSION may be used by all pilots in public benefit flying groups to indicate to air traffic control that they are flying patients or performing a public service mission. These procedures were the first ever to be developed, and have been used as a template by others.

Representation at AOPA, EAA, and other events: ACA has regularly staffed exhibit booths or presented seminars at major aviation events, such as AOPA SUMMIT and the special “Fly4Life” set of events at EAA AirVenture.

Developing Fellowship and Consensus Among Group Leaders: Through Air Care and our other initiatives we have developed our members’ joint consensus and brought it to the attention of large aviation associations, government agencies, our elected officials, and the general public.  ACA seminars and literature reflecting our first-hand knowledge of the best practices and strategies are being used by various groups around the country, assisting their members in carrying on their good works.  Helping any group work better improves the results for all groups and their volunteers