May 15, 2014
Mayors across the country continue to voice their approval of general aviation (GA), including business aviation, and the benefits it brings to their communities and states. The latest group of city mayors to declare their support includes officials in Medford, OR; Alexandria and Natchitoches, LA; Columbia, MO and New Smyrna Beach, FL.
In Alexandria, LA, Mayor Jacques Roy noted the importance of central Louisiana’s Esler Regional Airport. General aviation, he wrote, “…helps to improve the overall quality of life by providing essential emergency medical transportation, enhances public safety by assisting law enforcement, and [assists in] transporting business and leisure travelers to their destinations quickly and safely.”
Columbia, MO Mayor Robert McDavid cited the $857 million in annual economic activity generated by GA in his state, which includes 7,449 jobs statewide. McDavid wrote in his proclamation that “many communities in Missouri depend heavily on general aviation and community airports for the continued flow of commerce, tourists and visitors.”
Mayor Gary Wheeler called Medford, OR an “air-minded city,” when he announced General Aviation Appreciation Month. Wheeler noted that GA and community airports play a critical role in the lives of Oregon’s citizens, and that there are more than 400 aviation-related businesses throughout the state with an average wage of $62,395. Overall, aviation in Oregon is responsible for more than $2 billion in economic impact.
Natchitoches, LA Mayor Lee Posey and the five-member city council recognized Natchitoches Regional Airport for its vital role in the lives of residents, and the operation of businesses and farms in the area. He noted that there are 60 fixed-base operators in the state, as well as 35 aircraft repair stations and eight flight schools.
In New Smyrna Beach, FL, Mayor Adam Barringer called GA a “vital strategic resource.” He noted that general aviation airports account for nearly 80 percent of all aircraft operations in Florida, and the annual economic impact of GA airports to the state is $6 billion.
Nearly all U.S. states, along with many cities and towns, have officially recognized the value of GA, including business aviation, with all proclamations including at least some of the basic tenants of the No Plan No Gain Advocacy campaign, which was launched in 2009 and is sponsored by NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.