August 16, 2012
For the second consecutive year, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has declared her state’s appreciation of all general aviation (GA), including business aviation and community airports.
“Aviation plays a vital role in the economy of South Carolina, providing many thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity,” Haley wrote in her Aug. 2 proclamation designating Aug. 13 to 18 “Aviation Week” in the state. She had previously issued an Aviation Month proclamation in June 2011. Both proclamations mentioned the need for communities throughout the state to have aviation access to support business, tourism, air cargo, law enforcement and medical rescue operations.
All those benefits echo themes of the No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign, a joint effort of NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, which educates policymakers and opinion leaders on the importance of business aviation to individuals, businesses and communities.
NBAA Southeast Regional Representative Harry Houckes said that one of business aviation’s best examples in South Carolina is the state government’s own Aeronautics Commission, which provides on-demand transportation for state officials and business prospects. The commission was one of just two NBAA Member Companies to receive the Association’s 75-Year Safe Flying Achievement Award in 2010.
“South Carolina is clearly an outstanding leader among state aviation commissions,” said Houckes.
South Carolina has, in recent years, been actively recruiting aviation-related industries, and this summer, Haley traveled to the Farnborough International Air Show in the United Kingdom to recruit more aviation businesses. The state is already home to the South Carolina Technology and Aviation Center in Greenville, a major aircraft maintenance and modification center that hosts more than 80 companies, many of which have international operations.
Separately, GKN Aerospace announced in late 2011 that it will open a new $38 million facility in Orangeburg County, creating as many as 278 aviation engineering and maintenance jobs. The company expects to build components for the new HondaJet at the facility.
NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen thanked Haley for her official recognition of the industry’s value. “Governor Haley clearly understands the importance of business aviation, which is a proven generator of good jobs, and also helps connect communities in the state, especially those towns that do not have airline service,” he said.
Other states that have officially recognized GA’s value include: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.