November 13, 2012

For the third year in a row, Gov. Rick Perry proclaimed November “Aviation Appreciation Month” in Texas.

“Thousands of Texans rely on the aviation industry for employment,” Perry wrote in his proclamation. “General aviation (GA) and related activities generated $14.6 billion in direct, indirect and induced economic activity in the state of Texas.” A recent study counted 61,000 Texas aviation jobs with a payroll of $2.5 billion.

Review the Texas proclamation. (661 KB, PDF)

The Lone Star State has been ranked one of the most business-friendly states in the nation by several publications, most recently in the June 15 edition of Forbes magazine, in part because of the state’s well-developed network of nearly 400 GA airports. In addition to those community airports, Texas has an uncounted number of private airstrips easily numbering in the hundreds, including those needed by ranchers for patrolling their vast properties by aircraft. Some large companies, including oil companies, maintain their own well-equipped airports for quick access to their facilities scattered around the state.

“This state measures 773 miles by 790 miles and has a gross state product of more than $1.2 trillion, which is comparable to the nation of Canada,” said Steve Hadley, NBAA director of regional programs and Southwest regional representative. “For such a vast and prosperous state, business aviation is critical.”

In his proclamation, the governor pointed out that GA is a “critical component of our economy and our way of life.” He said the aviation industry brings families together, transports essential cargo to businesses and helps control pests that can wreak havoc on crops. He also encouraged all Texans to learn more about Texas aviation and recognize the contributions of “hardworking professionals who work in all sectors of the aviation industry.”

New in this year’s proclamation was mention of Texas’ aviation history, which Perry said goes back more than 100 years. In 1911, daredevil aviator “Cal” Rodgers landed his Wright Flyer Vin Fiz in Fort Worth as part of the first transcontinental flight.

More than 90 percent of U.S. states have officially recognized the value of GA and business aviation, with all proclamations including at least some of the basic tenets of the No Plane No Gain campaign, which was launched in early 2009