March 1, 2017
Hawaii recently became the 29th state to form a dedicated legislative aviation caucus when 13 Aloha State lawmakers took part in the inaugural meeting of the new group. The bipartisan Hawaii Aviation Caucus is led by co-chairs Sen. Kai Kahele of Oahu, and fellow pilot Rep. Angus McKelvey of Maui.
“Aviation has always been critical to Hawaii; it provides thousands of jobs, and brings in millions of dollars in revenue to our economy,” said Kahele. “We want to build a bridge between stakeholders and legislators to create a business-friendly environment, centered around aviation, in Hawaii.”
NBAA Western Regional Representative Stacy Howard attended the caucus meeting on Feb. 21, and the next day she joined representatives from 18 diverse aviation companies and organizations for Aviation Day at the state capitol, where she spoke with lawmakers, staff personnel and members of the public about the value of general aviation, including business aviation, to the Aloha State.
“We look forward to working with legislators in Hawaii to support business aviation access to Hawaii’s 15 state-owned and operated airports, strengthening our relationship with the Hawaii Department of Transportation’s Aviation Division and meeting the growing needs of our members that operate in America’s island state,” said Howard.
Howard also handed out resources from the No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign, including the popular Business Leaders on Business Aviation booklet, as well as NBAA’s Business Aviation Fact Book.
According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers study, Contribution of General Aviation to the US Economy in 2013, general aviation in Hawaii contributes $742 million to the state’s economy annually and supports 4,100 jobs, resulting in $260 million in labor income. The state is home to 3,145 pilots, based on FAA statistics, and 473 active general aviation aircraft.
Other attendees at the two-day aviation event in Honolulu included NBAA member company Air Service Hawaii, the General Aviation Council of Hawaii, the Civil Air Patrol and several area flight schools. The Aviation Day exhibit was sponsored by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, with lunch provided by NBAA.