May 18, 2012
In a May 16 ceremony at the state capitol, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman unveiled his second proclamation declaring General Aviation (GA) Appreciation Month in the state. Heineman issued a similar proclamation in 2010.
“GA and community airports play a critical role in the lives of our citizens, as well as [in] the operation of our businesses, industry, ranches and farms,” Heineman said.
In a state well aware of the economic cloud over the U.S., Heineman noted with pride that air transportation employs 5,250 Nebraskans, and cited GA’s support for tourism, which supports another 403 full-time jobs and more than $10 million in additional payroll.
NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen thanked Heineman for his proclamation, noting that the document contained three of the four main points of the No Plane No Gain campaign launched in early 2009. The campaign is co-sponsored by NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association to educate the public and policymakers on the value of business aviation.
Nebraska has 81 airports, 3,627 pilots and 2,756 GA aircraft. A total of 41 NBAA Member Companies are based in the state. In his proclamation, the governor noted the importance of the 160 aerial applicators – formerly known as crop-dusters – in an agricultural state like Nebraska. He also pointed out that the state is home to 13 charter flight companies, 12 aeronautical repair stations and more than 70 fixed-base operators.
Not mentioned in the proclamation were many of Nebraska’s substantial contributions to aviation’s development, including the heroic, but frigid, first night airmail flight and the initial flight instruction for Charles Lindbergh, who would later fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
“The governor has been very supportive of aviation in Nebraska,” said Ronnie Mitchell, director of the state aviation division. “Not only is he appreciative, but he uses GA extensively in getting to know the state, the people and what they’d like to see in state government. GA is the time-saving device that allows him to multiply the productivity he has as the top state official.”
In addition to Nebraska, 38 other U.S. States (more than 75 percent) have now officially recognized the value of business flying for their state, including Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Review the list of state proclamations.