September 21, 2012

Citing a “vibrant and supportive aviation community” in Utah, Gov. Gary R. Herbert has proclaimed September as “Aviation Appreciation Month” in the state.

“Business aviation is an important tool for companies in Utah to improve efficiency, save money and open opportunities in rural areas not served by commercial aviation,” the governor said in his proclamation. In the Beehive State, there are 46 public-use airports but only one – Salt Lake City – with regular major commercial airline service.

View the Utah “Aviation Appreciation Month” Proclamation (219 KB PDF)

“If your customers are in Salt Lake City, that’s great,” said Kristi Ivey, NBAA’s Northwest regional representative. “But getting your products and services to any other part of the state quickly and efficiently may require a business airplane.” With 84,899 square miles, Utah ranks 13th in land area, but has the lowest population density of any state.

Ivey also said the Utah Business Aviation Association has worked diligently over the last several years to boost safety (including hosting three successful safety events), and to highlight the many reasons companies of all sizes rely on business flying,. She said the group will be conducting an informational safety luncheon on Sept. 27 at the Kibbe Executive Terminal at Salt Lake City International Airport.

Utah’s population grew at a rate of nearly 3 percent annually from 1990 to 2000, and the state’s Gross Domestic Product by 7.5 percent between 1990 and 2002, both much higher than national averages. In the latest state economic impact study of Utah airports, about 78 percent of 3,000 Utah business owners or managers surveyed said air cargo was an important part of their business, while about 16 percent said their Utah business activities depend on GA.

More than 1,700 aircraft are based at the state’s airports, and an estimated 3 million visitors arrive annually at those airports in GA aircraft. The Utah airport system supports more than 100,000 jobs, pays $2.83 billion in annual payroll and has an economic impact of $5.68 billion.

According to the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Utah is among the top states in the nation in the concentration of aerospace employment. Aviation-related companies in Utah design and manufacture aircraft parts, build advanced space systems, perform repair and maintenance and manufacture control systems. Several of those firms work with composites and other advanced airframe materials, propulsion systems, avionics and control systems.

“When Gov. Herbert says the aviation industry plays a critical role in the lives of Utah’s citizens and the economic prosperity of the state, he knows what he’s talking about,” said Ed Bolen, NBAA president and CEO. “We appreciate his proclamation.”

With the September Aviation Appreciation Month proclamation, Utah becomes the 45th state to recognize the value of all GA, including business aviation, since the 2009 launch of the No Plane No Gain campaign.