June 21, 2013
The governors of Illinois, Idaho, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming have affirmed their appreciation of general aviation (GA), each declaring June 2013 the month for recognizing the contributions of GA, including business aviation, to their states.
Officials in Delaware and Nevada released similar proclamations this month.
In his proclamation, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn called GA a “vital strategic resource,” noting that it contributes more than $4.4 billion to the Illinois economy annually, supports nearly 55,000 jobs at GA airports statewide and plays a vital role in the state‘s response to emergencies and natural disasters.
“Many communities in Illinois depend heavily on GA and community airports for the continued flow of commerce, tourists and visitors to our state,” said Quinn. He said that the state has a significant interest in the continued vitality of GA, aerospace, aircraft manufacturing, educational institutions, aviation organizations and community airports and airport operators.
NBAA Midwest Regional Representative Bob Quinn added that the Illinois Department of Transportation‘s Division of Aeronautics supports one of the largest state airport systems in the nation, with more than 870 landing facilities ranging from O‘Hare International Airport to small municipal fields.
In his proclamation, Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter said his state has 126 public-use airports, 5,900 pilots and 2,900 GA aircraft, and cited the role of business airplanes and helicopters in responding to emergencies and natural disasters.
“According to the 2010 Idaho Airport System Plan, the economic impact of general aviation in Idaho is over $426 million,” said Otter. “Idaho‘s general aviation airports create 4,096 jobs annually with an estimated payroll of $133 million.”
Aviation in Idaho has a total annual economic impact of $2.1 billion, employs some 23,000 Idahoans and that GA and community airports in the state play “a critical role in the lives of our citizens, as well as in the operation of our businesses and farms.”
“Business aviation is vital in Idaho for many reasons, and we‘re grateful to Governor Otter for recognizing that,” said Kristi Ivey, NBAA‘s Northwest regional representative. “In fact, the governor‘s selection to run the Idaho Division of Aeronautics, Mike Pape, is the founder of the Idaho Business Aviation Association which has been an important grassroots business aviation voice in the state.”
South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard cites the “critical role [of GA] in the lives of our citizens, as well as in the operation of our businesses and farms.
“GA contributes to the state‘s economy and medical care, transports goods to the state‘s Indian reservations, supports forest fire fighting and boosts economic development for small communities,” said Daugaard in his proclamation. The aviation industry, he said, supports more than 7,000 jobs in the state, with $250 million in wages.
The governor singled out the role of business aviation in the largest industry in the state – farming. Agricultural spraying supports some 300 jobs in South Dakota, and provides more than $10 million in income.
Gov. Jay Inslee said in his proclamation, “Public use airports support 248,500 jobs, $15.3 billion in wages and $50.9 billion in total economic activity.”
Washington is home to 135 public-use airports, more than 19,000 pilots and more than 6,660 GA aircraft.
Washington State Division of Transportation Aviation spokesperson Nisha Marvel said the Washington Aviation Economic Impact Study, completed in March of last year, found that more than 97 percent of the state‘s gross business income is generated by businesses within 10 miles of an airport.
“Washington State has a significant interest in the continued vitality of general aviation, aerospace, aircraft manufacturing, educational institutions, aviation organizations and community airports and airport operators,” the governor said.
Wyoming Gov. Matthew Mead noted GA and community airports “play an important role in the state‘s response to emergencies and natural disasters as well as Wyoming‘s businesses – supporting commerce and attracting visitors.”
GA airports, according to the governor, contribute more than $101 million annually to the state‘s economy and support an estimated 14,500 jobs. Wyoming has 40 public-use airports; 1,942 pilots and 836 GA aircraft.
Nearly all U.S. states have officially recognized the value of all general aviation, including business aviation, with all proclamations including at least some of the basic tenets of the No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign, which was launched in 2009 and is sponsored by NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.