August 31, 2012

Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee of Rhode Island acknowledged August 2012 as Rhode Island General Aviation (GA) Appreciation Month.

“GA is vital to many non-aviation businesses in Rhode Island, which use the system to move personnel, equipment and products,” the governor said in his proclamation. Chafee noted that Rhode Island’s seven airports support 14,167 local jobs, 457 aircraft and serve as home to five air charter companies, nine aviation repair stations, four flight schools, six fixed-base operators, a helicopter tour operator and a skydiving operation. All told, GA generates about $465 million a year for the state’s economy.

Review the Rhode Island Proclamation (3.12 MB PDF)

Rhode Island also leads the nation in the number of airports by land area, with seven public-use airports for the state’s 1,044 square miles, or an airport every 149 square miles. By comparison, the state with the fewest airports for its area is Wyoming, with only one airport per 2,368 square miles.

“More and more, governors recognize the tremendous positive impact aviation has on a state’s economy, employment and vibrancy,” said Dean Saucier, NBAA Northeast regional representative. “Gov. Chafee, by proclaiming August GA Appreciation Month in Rhode Island, is among those governors who truly understand that with aviation, a state can maximize its economic potential.”

Gov. Chafee’s proclamation echoed many of the themes central to the No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign sponsored jointly by NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, including the importance of general aviation to companies of all sizes, as well as its value in performing rescue operations, creating jobs and opening access to rural communities. The proclamation makes Rhode Island the 43rd state to officially recognize the value of all aviation, including business aviation, since the No Plane No Gain program began in early 2009.

“Gov. Chafee sees the value that business flying and local airports bring to Rhode Island,” said Ed Bolen, NBAA president and CEO. “We sincerely appreciate his support.” He noted that the state’s density of airports makes Rhode Island business-friendly, not only for companies in the state that utilize aircraft, but for companies outside the state that can reach customers more quickly and easily by general aviation aircraft.

Gov. Chafee’s proclamation adds Rhode Island to the list of states that have recognized GA’s value. They are: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, Missouri, Minnesota, Montana, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.