May 15, 2013

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie declared May 2013 “General Aviation (GA) Appreciation Month,” reminding state residents of the “substantial economic benefit to New Jersey from the operation of the public-use airport system and from the tourism and commerce it supports.”

The state hosts about 4,700 aircraft and has 43 public-use airports, plus 400 restricted-use landing facilities, mostly heliports. There are more than 12,000 pilots in the state, and 18,000 residents who are employed in GA-related businesses.

Review the proclamation (PDF)

Christie issued a similar proclamation in 2011, and in 2010 declared Sept. 29 as Aviation Awareness Day.

According to a recent New Jersey State Aviation System Plan, GA-related jobs in New Jersey provide at least $624 million a year in combined wages, generating an estimated $1.7 billion in annual economic benefits. Another study shows that each year, community airports in the state welcome nearly 850,000 visitors, who spend almost $200 million.

In his proclamation, Christie also noted that GA plays a vital role in the operation of businesses and farms, as well as in the state’s response to emergencies and natural disasters.

“FAA’s Arlene Feldman and the New Jersey Aviation Association (NJAA) have worked hard over the years to strengthen GA in the state,” said NBAA Northeast Regional Representative Dean Saucier. “One example is the annual awards luncheon that NJAA holds honoring legislators and aviation professionals who have been instrumental in advancing GA that year.”

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 Manufacturing Association.