The office of Lt. Governor Casey Cagle announced today Richard Smith has been appointed to serve on the new Georgia Aviation Authority. The Authority will serve as the governing body for all state aviation assets, providing aviation services for the entire state and overseeing all state aviation operations.
“Richard’s proven leadership ability and 30 years of piloting experience give the Authority a truly capable member who will do a tremendous job as we begin this new era in Georgia aviation,” said Lt. Governor Casey Cagle. “His service will be an invaluable asset to the state and I am truly honored to have him represent my office in this capacity.”
Smith, an Atlanta-area attorney, is the co-founder and managing partner of the law firm Smith, Ronick & Corbin, LLC, which specializes in transactional law. Smith started his firm in 1981 after beginning his law career at Hansell, Post, Brandon & Dorsey in Atlanta. He is a member of the Real Property Law and Aviation Law Sections of the State Bar of Georgia and a past President of the Real Property Section of the Atlanta Bar Association.
Smith holds an extensive aviation background beginning his aircraft piloting in 1983. He became involved with Angel Flight of Georgia and Mercy Flight Southeast as a volunteer pilot, primarily flying patients in need of organ transplants and often coordinating with the Georgia Transplant Foundation.
An Atlanta native, Smith graduated from Georgia State University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and earned his law degree from the Emory University School of Law. He currently lives in Sandy Springs with his wife Sherri. They have three children, two of which currently practice law with Smith at his firm.
Smith recently started his two-year term on the Authority which began its operations July 1. The Authority was enacted by the General Assembly passing Senate Bill 85 during the 2009 Legislative Session. SB 85 consolidated Georgia’s aircraft into the new Aviation Authority through which all of the state’s aircraft can be managed with the goal to gain the maximum safety and efficiency.
Specifically, the purpose of the Authority will be to:
Acquire, operate, maintain, house, and dispose of all state aviation assets
Provide aviation services and oversight of state aircraft and aviation operations to ensure the safety of state air travelers and aviation property
Provide for the efficient operation of state aircraft
Supporters of the bill say the new Authority will provide greater resources across the state for agencies such as the Georgia State Patrol (GSP) and the Departments of Transportation (DOT), Natural Resources, Forestry Commission and the Board of Regents. The Georgia Sheriffs Association is in full support of this legislation to help streamline and provide greater efficiency to their search-and-rescue operations throughout the sate.
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