March 27, 2018
The importance of aviation to California and Hawaii was the focus of two recent events held for state legislators in Sacramento and Honolulu, respectively, and NBAA’s Western Regional Representative Stacy Howard was at both representing the interests of business aviation and extolling the value it brings to those states.
“NBAA was proud to co-sponsor and be an active participant at both the California and Hawaii Aerospace and Aviation Day at the Capitol events,” said Howard, who at both locations met with legislators and their staffs and distributed materials about business aviation from an NBAA booth. “Aviation day functions at state capitals provide an effective and targeted opportunity for NBAA and others in the aviation industry to educate and inform lawmakers about the essential role aviation plays in every state.”
According to Howard, the California Aviation Day was first introduced in 2013 with the goal of increasing the awareness of aviation to legislators and communities across the state. In 2017, the event was expanded to include the aerospace industry, and this year’s function showcased both aviation and aerospace industries goals and missions.
“California state Sen. Jean Fuller, chairperson of the California Aviation Caucus, opened the day’s ceremonies on the west steps of the Capitol, and then introduced her co-chairman and successor, Rep. Jim Patterson, who noted with pride that he was wearing his No Plane No Gain lapel pin,” said Howard.
Howard said she is working with California legislators to help them understand that FAA policy requires aviation fuel tax revenues collected by the state must be used for aviation purposes. Currently, California’s airport improvement program is severely underfunded, and jet fuel tax is being deposited into the state general fund.
In Hawaii, the Aviation Caucus held its second meeting at the Aviation and Aerospace Day.
“We commend Caucus chairman state Sen. Kai Kahele and his co-chairman state Rep. Angus McKelvey for working with the aviation and aerospace community in Hawaii to streamline the process for authorizing and funding airport infrastructure, and for collaborating with the Hawaiian general aviation community to promote a strong economic environment for business aviation,” said Howard.