May 21, 2013

At a recent ceremony in the state capital in Lincoln, NE, Gov. Dave Heineman designated May 2013 as “General Aviation (GA) Appreciation Month” in the Cornhusker State.

“General aviation and community airports play a vital role in the lives of our citizens, as well as [in] the operation of our businesses and farms,” said the governor, who issued similar statements in 2010 and 2012. “The state of Nebraska has a significant interest in the continued vitality of general aviation, aerospace, aircraft manufacturing, educational institutions, aviation organizations, community airports and airport operators.”

Review the proclamation. (PDF)

Heineman noted that many Nebraska communities depend on GA and community airports for the flow of commerce and tourists to the state.

He added that the industry employs 5,250 Nebraskans and noted that the additional 403 full-time tourism jobs related to GA create $10.6 million in payroll. The annual economic impact of GA in Nebraska is $721 million, according to a Merge Global study.

Nebraska has 81 public-use airports, 3,611 pilots and 2,756 GA aircraft. It is also home to 13 charter flight companies, 12 aviation repair stations, numerous flight schools and more than 70 airport fixed-base operators that handle the estimated 970,000 GA takeoffs and landings per year in the state.

Additionally, many communities rely on GA and community airports for services such as aerial firefighting, medical outreach, aerial agricultural spraying and more.

“Nebraska really does demonstrate the need for all aspects of general aviation, from the urban centers to the rural and agricultural requirements, plus the aviation businesses for their support,” said NBAA’s Central Region Representative Bob Quinn. “No Plane No Gain is a reality in Nebraska,”

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 Manufacturers Association.