April 9, 2013

For the third consecutive year, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has designated April “General Aviation (GA) Appreciation Month” in the Show Me State. The governor’s proclamation preceded this year’s gathering of pilots, airport operators, flight department operators and business aircraft operators in the state capital, Jefferson City, to educate legislators about the industry’s value on April 9, State Aviation Day.

Missouri has 125 public-use GA airports, 15,882 active pilots and 6,814 GA aircraft. GA supports about 16,000 jobs in the state, including those at the state’s 31 charter companies, 54 repair stations and eight flight schools.

Review the proclamation (PDF)

In his proclamation, Nixon noted the role GA plays in the operation of businesses and farms in the state, saying, “Many communities in Missouri depend heavily on general aviation and community airports for the continued flow of commerce, tourists and visitors to our state.”

He also noted that GA aircraft “play a vital role in the state’s response to emergencies or natural disasters,” a point underlined just the month before when an Air Evac emergency medical services helicopter airlifted a 17-year-old girl from the scene of an auto accident in a rural area, helping save her life. That emergency rescue company has 10 bases in Missouri, all at GA airports.

“NBAA is proud to work with Carolyn Morris and the Missouri Pilots Association in supporting Missouri’s GA interest groups,” said Bob Quinn, NBAA’s Midwest regional representative. “They’ve been highly effective in educating legislative leaders on State Aviation Day for the last several years and turnout for State Aviation Day always numbers in the hundreds.”

Quinn noted that last year’s effort resulted in extension of the Missouri Aviation Trust Fund for airport repairs and improvements, and that this year’s efforts will spotlight the need for a “flyaway tax” exemption for aircraft purchases in Missouri by out-of-state buyers.

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.