July 10, 2013

For the third consecutive year, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has proclaimed the value of general aviation (GA) in the Centennial State, naming July 2013 as General Aviation Appreciation Month.

“General aviation and community airports play a critical role in the lives of our people, as well as in the operation of our businesses and farms,” the governor said in his proclamation, which noted that the state has 76 public use airports, 17,819 pilots and 5,483 GA aircraft.

Review the proclamation. (PDF)

The 2013 proclamation noted that GA adds about $2.1 billion in economic benefit to the state annually, and that Colorado has a robust GA sector, including 40 charter flight services, 60 repair stations and 16 flight schools employing 212 skilled workers and offering 141 aircraft for rent.

“General aviation sustains 22,650 jobs and a payroll of nearly $750 million (in Colorado),” said Hickenlooper in his proclamation. “These figures increase substantially when factoring in general aviation jobs at commercial-service airports across the state.”

He also pointed out that largely rural Colorado depends heavily on GA and community airports for the continued flow of commerce, tourists and visitors to the state.

“The western half of Colorado is mountainous and can be difficult and time consuming to reach,” said Steve Hadley, NBAA director of regional programs and NBAA Southwest regional representative. “People in the many smaller cities and towns wouldn’t have quick access to many goods and services of companies if it weren’t for business aviation.”

Nearly all U.S. states have officially recognized the value of GA, 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.