Standing on the steps of the state capitol in Nashville, Tennessee governor Phil Bredesen today announced April as General Aviation (GA) Appreciation Month in the Volunteer State.

Tennessee is the latest state to issue a proclamation highlighting the value of all GA, including business aviation. Other states to do so have included West Virginia, Kansas, Vermont and Georgia. The proclamation issued today noted that “…The use of general aviation by businesses and Tennesseans are directly tied to the future growth and prosperity of the state.”

“Aviation has been a vital and active part of Tennessee’s economy since the early 1900’s,” said Bredesen, himself an active pilot with instrument and multiengine ratings, “and [I] encourage all citizens to recognize the vital strategic resource that is aviation in Tennessee.”

With 82 public-use airports, nearly 12,000 certificated pilots and about 6,500 general aviation aircraft, Tennessee’s general aviation community contributes more than $2.5 billion and almost 100,000 aviation-related jobs to the state’s economy. The state boasts 46 aviation-related companies, 56 FAA-certificated repair stations and four flight schools.

Accompanying Governor Bredesen as he signed the proclamation was NBAA Director of Legislative Affairs Dick Doubrava and several top officials of Tennessee state government.

Governor Bredesen has supported general aviation in Tennessee since he was first elected governor in 2003. He opposed an increase the state’s sales tax on general aviation fuel in 2004.

Through the No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign, NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association have worked to educate policymakers on the value of business aviation to citizens, companies and communities across the U.S.

Business aviation supports more than a million jobs, provides a lifeline to cities and towns with little or no airline service, helps companies of all sizes be more efficient and productive, and supports flights to help people and communities in times of crisis.