July 10, 2014
Mayor Matt Watkins of Pasco, WA, on June 12, became the 100th top U.S. city official to proclaim his community’s appreciation of general aviation (GA), including business aviation.
Public support for general aviation from mayors and other top city officials from coast to coast has been building. Last year, 16 mayoral proclamations were issued; but this year, in just the time since Mayor Watkins’ proclamation became the hundredth mayor to declare his support for the industry issued in June, similar declarations have been made by mayors or city officials of Carson City, NV; Cody, WY; Greeley, CO; Pocatello, ID; and Huntingburg, IN.
According to Mayor Watkins, the city of Pasco is an appropriate choice for the 100th community to speak in favor of general aviation. “Pasco has a rich history in aviation, including being part of the first airmail service in the nation in 1926,” said Mayor Watkins in his proclamation, which declared June as Washington General Aviation Appreciation Month. “The Port of Pasco has operated Tri-Cities Airport since 1963 [and that] airport [is] the fourth-largest in the state of Washington, and serving a population in excess of one million.”
All 50 states have already issued similar, state-level proclamations, which typically mention the number of pilots and airports in each state and the annual economic benefit of general aviation to the state and its residents. The state and city proclamations typically reflect the message of the No Plane No advocacy campaign, highlighting the industry’s growth in creating jobs, helping companies succeed, serving as a lifeline to communities and supporting worthwhile humanitarian initiatives.
Launched in 2009 by NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, No Plane No Gain educates policymakers and opinion leaders on the importance of business aviation to the United States. The campaign’s current “Top Ten” initiative has been publicizing testimonials from company CEOs who see first-hand the competitive advantages of using general aviation aircraft for business purposes.