February 18, 2009

Aviation industry leader to visit SIUC

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Craig Fuller, president of the nation’s largest general aviation pilots organization, will make a brief stop at Southern Illinois University Carbondale later this week.

Fuller, president of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, will spend about 90 minutes Thursday afternoon touring the University’s nationally recognized aviation program and facilities and visit with students and University officials at the Southern Illinois Airport. Fuller’s flight is due to arrive at the airport, located between Murphysboro and Carbondale, at about 3 p.m.

Reporters and photographers are welcome to attend Fuller’s visit with the students.

“It’s a rare opportunity for aviation student leaders to interact with a leader of the aviation industry from Washington, D.C.,” said David A. NewMyer, chair of the Department of Aviation Management and Flight

Media Advisory

Reporters and photographers are welcome to attend Fuller’s visit. For more information, contact John K. Voges at 618/453-9244.

The aviation management, aviation flight and aviation technologies programs are signature programs at SIUC, and a part of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts.

The AOPA represents more than 414,000 pilots and aircraft owners in the United States -- more than two-thirds of all certified pilots in the nation. Fuller became the fourth president in the organization’s history in January; this is his first visit to a university aviation facility.

The AOPA is heavily involved in such matters as the reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration, proposed regulations by the Transportation Security Administration that will affect general aviation aircraft, and other major aviation issues, NewMyer said.

Fuller’s background includes senior public affairs positions in business, including leading a health care association as president and CEO for more than six years, according to his biography. Fuller also served in executive positions in the federal government, including eight years in the White House from 1981 to 1989. He served as assistant to President Reagan for Cabinet Affairs from 1981 to 1985, and chief of staff to Vice President Bush from 1985 to 1989.

Fuller “is the leading voice for general aviation in Washington,” said John K. Voges, an assistant professor, chief flight instructor and program coordinator in aviation management and flight. Voges’ membership in the organization dates back to 1987.