U S Centennial of Flight Commission F Y 2000 Report to Congress

Selection of Sixth Commission Member

The Act also provides that a sixth Commission member be chosen by the Commission from presidents or heads of United States aeronautical societies, foundations, or organizations of national stature or prominence, and that this person be from a State other than Ohio or North Carolina. This sixth Commissioner represents the interests of national aeronautical entities.

Starting with this statutory guidance, the Commission employed a three-step process in selecting the sixth Commissioner. First, the Commission contacted interested parties by letter and issued a Federal Register notice to reach out to additional individuals and organizations. Second, each interested person submitted a written narrative of not more than ten pages addressing the reason for his or her interest, organizational focus and expertise, expectations for the celebration of the centennial, and prior experience in similar activities. Finally, each person made a public presentation covering these topics at the Commission's meeting in November 1999. Six organizations were represented: the Aerospace Industries Association, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Experimental Aircraft Association, the International Association of Aerospace and Defense Exhibitions, the National Aeronautic Association, and the National Air Transport Association.

Following these presentations, the Commission selected Mr. Thomas P. (Tom) Poberezny, President of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), as the Commission's sixth member. Founded in 1953, and located in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the EAA represents nearly 170,000 members worldwide and is recognized as the largest grassroots organization for recreational aviation. The EAA is dedicated to serving aviation by fostering and encouraging individual participation, high standards, and access to the world of flight in an environment that promotes freedom, safety, family and personal fulfillment. Its members represent a broad spectrum of aviation, including pilots, owners, builders, restorers, enthusiasts, and families. This large and diverse grassroots membership was a key factor in the Commission's selection of Mr. Poberezny for the sixth Commission seat. (Appendix B lists the Commission membership as of the end of FY 2000.)

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