Aug. 27, 2015

Aviation supporters in Ohio, the “birthplace of aviation,” have a new permanent committee, which will ensure a statewide focus on growing the aviation and aerospace industries.

Legislation to create the Ohio Aerospace and Aviation Technology Committee (OAATC) was passed last year, and committee members – led by state Rep. Rick Perales – have begun their task of studying and developing strategies to promote Ohio’s aviation, aerospace and technology industries, and facilitate collaboration between them.

The 15 members of the OAATC include legislators, industry, military and academic representatives and government officials. Robert Tanner, a board member of the Ohio Regional Business Aviation Association (ORBAA) – which supported the creation of the OAATC – is on the committee, and ORBAA President Jeff Poeppelman is bullish on the impact OAATC should have on the state’s aviation industry.

“On behalf of our membership and industry partners, we are pleased to have the support of Rep. Perales and the OAATC,” said Poeppelman. “Aviation throughout Ohio is poised for growth and rife with opportunity. The OAATC will coordinate the efforts of many key players and support the growth and development of all aerospace organizations throughout Ohio.”

According to Perales – a former commander in the U.S. Air Force – early recommendations in developing a strategic plan for the Ohio aerospace and aviation sector include the creation of a comprehensive website to be used as a tool for businesses, universities and military installations regarding events, news and material related to aerospace and aviation. The group is also looking at developing tax incentives and workforce development strategies to encourage growth in the industry.

“One of the key processes that has been driving the effectiveness of the committee is the formation of work groups,” said Perales. “The Industry Support Work Group, for instance, is currently working on legislative possibilities for enhancing Ohio’s tax climate for aerospace and aviation companies. In addition, the Workforce Development Work Group is looking into long term solutions to bring Ohio’s aviation businesses the STEM educated workers that are so in-demand right now.”

“The creation of the OAATC is good news for the Ohio business aviation community,” said Scott O’Brien, NBAA senior manager for finance and tax policy. “NBAA applauds this effort to reach across all sectors of the aviation industry, promote workforce development, and encourage a favorable tax climate for aviation in Ohio.”

According to a 2014 Ohio Airports Economic Impact Study, general aviation airports in Ohio contribute more than $1.8 billion to the state’s economy, supporting more than 17,000 jobs and $688 million in annual payroll.