September 15, 2011

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter has declared September “General Aviation Appreciation Month” in Idaho. The proclamation was issued September 1 in the state capitol of Boise.

“The economic effect of general aviation in Idaho is over $429 million,” the governor states in his official proclamation, “and over 23,000 residents owe their jobs to aviation in [this state].” The governor’s proclamation notes that there are 119 public-use general aviation (GA) airports in the state, 5,059 pilots and just over 4,000 aircraft. Of the 119 public-use airports, only six have scheduled airline service.

Review Governor Otter’s proclamation (1MB, PDF)

Idaho is also one of a handful of states without a major freeway linking two large metropolitan areas, making business aircraft trips over the mountainous terrain between Boise in the south and Coeur d’Alene in the north especially important. Idaho hosts 46 charter flight companies, 28 FAA-certificated repair stations and seven flight schools that operate 22 aircraft and provide 58 jobs. There are also 46 fixed base operators in the state.

“Governor Otter appreciates business aviation value in his state, and we thank him for issuing this proclamation” said National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen. “Idaho is larger than all of New England, but has fewer than 16 people per square mile. In addition to getting between two major cities, the ability of business aircraft to reach very small communities in isolated areas is critical for Idahoans.”

In part because of the availability of business aircraft and small public-use airports, Idaho’s non-farm employment rose by almost 20 percent between 2000 and 2008.

In his proclamation, the governor notes that community airports play “a critical role in the lives of our citizens, as well as in the operation of our businesses and farms.” He also cites the role of business airplanes and helicopters in responding to emergencies and natural disasters in the mountainous state. The governor’s proclamation includes most of the themes of the “No Plane No Gain” advocacy campaign jointly sponsored by NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. Visit the No Plane No Gain web site.

With the proclamation, Idaho becomes the 33rd state to have issued official notice of business flying. State proclamations since 2010 have included Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Minnesota, Montana, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Review the list of state proclamations.