July 17, 2014

In 1966, the city of Scottsdale, AZ bought an old World War II military airport on the northeast side of town, intending to expand the small business park next to the airport. Two years later, the first park tenant moved in, and the Scottsdale Airpark has become an important business, as well as transportation, center.

Last month, Scottsdale Mayor W.J. “Jim” Lane lauded the success of Scottsdale Airpark, issuing a proclamation declaring June as Arizona General Aviation (GA) Appreciation Month. He noted that the 8.5-square-mile airpark, with its 8,000-foot-long runway, now hosts about 2,200 companies and employs 48,000 people, 28 percent of all the city’s working residents. In fact, it is now the second-largest employment center in the state.

Download the Scottsdale, AZ proclamation. (PDF)

Mayor Lane said that GA at the renovated military base is a key link to the global marketplace for local, national and international commerce. “Scottsdale Airport accounts for $182 million in annual economic activity. [I] urge all citizens of the city of Scottsdale to join me in acknowledging the vital role aviation plays in our community,” The mayor said, upon issuing the proclamation.

The combined total economic value of the airport and the business park for Scottsdale area residents was recently estimated at between $2.5 and $3 billion.

In noting the mayor’s proclamation, NBAA Western Regional Representative Stacy Howard said, “The leadership of Scottsdale’s elected officials and the city’s ongoing investment in its airport and airpark make Scottsdale a great example of how a community can use business aviation to grow its economic base. Scottsdale Airpark’s attraction for business over the last 50 years speaks for itself.”

Howard also noted the key role a promotional video produced in-house by the city’s Economic Development department in 2012 has played in that growth. Titled Scottsdale Airpark: Business Takes Flight, the video touts the value of the airport for business and may serve as an example for other communities seeking to attract businesses.

Mayor Lane’s proclamation adds Scottsdale to the more than 100 other proclamations issued by top local officials in 2014, who have officially recognized the importance of general aviation, including business aviation, since the start of the No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign, which is sponsored by NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. Now in its fifth year, No Plane No Gain educates policymakers and opinion leaders about the value of business aviation to citizens, companies and communities.