March 20, 2013
Gov. Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii has declared 2013 “The Year of General Aviation” (GA), making the Aloha State the 48th state to officially recognize the importance of all general aviation, including business aviation.
In his proclamation, Abercrombie noted the $412 million annual contribution the industry makes annually to the state’s economy. Despite its small land area, the state has 15 airports that serve 3,103 pilots and 1,005 GA aircraft. Hawaii is composed of eight main islands, and more than 100 smaller ones, making GA essential for quick travel within the state.
“(GA) provides residents, businesses and visitors access to isolated areas of the state, enabling communities to remain connected to the nation’s air transportation system and the world’s global marketplace,” the governor said. He added that GA was also vital for the state’s response to emergencies and natural disasters.
Before issuing the proclamation, Abercrombie released more than $100 million for various capital improvement projects at the state’s airports, including Kahului Airport on Maui, Kona International Airport on the island of Hawaii, Honolulu International Airport on Oahu, Molokai Airport on Molokai, Hilo International Airport on Hilo and Lihue Airport at Kauai.
“We thank Gov. Abercrombie for his proclamation,” said NBAA Western Regional Representative Stacy Howard. “Also, the General Aviation Council of Hawaii (GACH) has been instrumental in helping pilots deal with some of the special considerations of flying in Hawaii, such as extended temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) when President Obama vacations in the state.”
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.