April 20, 2011

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has issued a proclamation declaring March as “General Aviation Appreciation Month,” making Missouri the 21st state to officially recognize the value of all general aviation (GA), including business aviation.

Governor Nixon issued the proclamation during the fifth annual “State Aviation Day” on March 22 in the state capitol of Jefferson City. Nearly 500 representatives from four major state GA groups attended the gathering, all urging legislators to understand and appreciate the value of business flying in Missouri.

NBAA Regional Representative Bob Quinn, who for several years has helped the group grow, said “their advocacy work has really paid off. They’ve really influenced the political environment.”

NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen thanked Governor Nixon for the proclamation. “Missouri is the ‘Show-Me’ state, and Governor Nixon’s proclamation identifying the $2.4 billion of economic impact the industry brings to Missouri really does ‘show me’ and everyone else that Missouri leaders understand the importance of business aviation.”

Across the country, business aviation contributes some $150 billion to the economy. Missouri has 131 public-use community airports, 15,882 active pilots and 6,814 GA aircraft. “Many communities in Missouri depend heavily on general aviation and community airports for the continued flow of commerce, tourists and visitors to our state,” said Governor Nixon. “The state…has a significant interest in the continued vitality of general aviation…”

Paula Derks, President of the Aircraft Electronics Association, a well-known international association based in Lee’s Summit, MO, added that nearly 16,000 highly-skilled workers were employed by aviation-related entities in the state.

The Missouri governor has long understood the value of GA in the state. On September 28, 2009, the Governor personally broke ground on a new airport terminal and hangar project at the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport in Kansas City.

At the ceremony, Gov. Nixon said, “An upgraded Wheeler Downtown Airport has the potential to serve as an exciting tool for economic development in Kansas City and the entire region, resulting in new jobs for hard-working Missourians.” An estimated 94 new jobs were created with that project alone.

Since the coordinated campaign to educate state political leaders started in 2010, 21 states have formally recognized the importancz of business flying. They include Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, Ohio, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Each state’s proclamation has echoed the central themes of the No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign www.noplanenogain.org, sponsored by NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.

View a copy of the Missouri proclamation. (531 KB, PDF)