March 14, 2012
Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (R-IN) took official note of aviation’s importance in his state earlier this month, proclaiming March 2012 as General Aviation Appreciation Month in Indiana.
The governor’s official notice echoed themes of the No Plane No Gain campaign, the advocacy program jointly sponsored by NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) to educate policymakers and opinion leaders about the value of business aviation.
Pointing specifically to the benefits of using general aviation (GA) aircraft for business, the governor’s proclamation notes, “GA and community airports play a critical role in the lives of our citizens, as well as the operation of our businesses and farms.”
“Many communities depend heavily on general aviation (GA) and community airports for…commerce, tourists and visitors to our state,” the proclamation continues. “The state of Indiana has a significant interest in the continued vitality of GA, aerospace, aircraft manufacturing, educational institutions, aviation organizations, community airports and airport operators,” which support almost 19,000 GA-related jobs with a payroll of $480 million.
The Hoosier State has 107 strategically distributed public-use airports with a combined direct and indirect economic impact of nearly $3 billion. Indiana has more than 10,000 active FAA-certificated pilots and hosts some 6,035 aircraft, ranging from light single-engine piston aircraft to jets. About 120 NBAA Member Companies call Indiana home.
Indiana Department of Transportation Aviation Division Manager Kevin Rector said that selected airports across the state also offer Customs service and foreign trade zones. “And don’t forget flight instruction,” he added. “With a threatening commercial pilot shortage, the civilian training of future pilots is becoming increasingly important, and most Indiana airports are well equipped to help provide tomorrow’s pilots.”
Rector also noted that aviation career education is offered at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Indianapolis, Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Ivy Tech State College (which has campuses throughout the state), Purdue University in Lafayette and Indiana’s oldest college, Vincennes University, in Vincennes and Indianapolis.