Feb. 18, 2014
Nine signatures – seven representing Washington state aviation groups and two representing national aviation groups, including NBAA – adorn a recent letter sent to every member of the Rules Committee of the Washington Senate, urging passage of Senate Bill 5430, which would allocate all of the state’s aircraft excise taxes to the Washington State Aviation Division for its airports and grant program.
Nearby, in Idaho, aviation groups and interests from across the state have come together to urge the state legislature to pass a bill (Senate Bill S1265) that would require Idaho airports to be included in the comprehensive land-use planning process. The bill has already made it out of the Senate Local Government and Taxation Committee and is progressing in the legislature.
The increased level of advocacy in both Washington and Idaho is no accident, as aviation groups and supporters in both states have become increasingly active.
“It’s been gratifying to see the aviation community in both states become so engaged and involved,” said Kristi Ivey, NBAA’s Northwest regional representative. Ivey, who works closely with aviation groups throughout the Northwest on a variety of issues, has played a role in advocating for both sets of legislation.
According to Ivey, the increased level of advocacy in both states is already paying dividends. For example, Washington now boasts a new Washington State Legislative Aviation Caucus, led by state Sen. Jim Honeyford and strongly supported by the Pacific Northwest Business Aviation Association (PNBAA) and other aviation proponents.
In Idaho, the call to action over Senate Bill S1265 is helping to reinvigorate the Idaho Business Aviation Association (IBAA), which has been working closely with the Idaho Airport Management Association and other groups on getting the land-use bill passed.
“Our airports need to have more of a voice in development projects that affect them,” said Craig Watkins, secretary of IBAA. Not only is the legislation important, said Watkins, but the effort is bringing the Idaho groups together and re-energizing IBAA.
“It’s great to see this level of advocacy activity in these states, and we encourage our NBAA Members as well to continue being actively engaged and to work with their regional business aviation associations on the many issues and legislative proposals that affect business aviation,” said Ivey.