August 24, 2011
Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell praised “the major role” of business aviation in declaring August 2011 as “Virginia Aviation Month.”
The Old Dominion State was voted “Best State for Business” four years in a row by Forbes magazine, starting in 2006. In 2010 the state won the number-two spot on CNBC’s “Top States for Business” ranking. Last year, it also received second-place honors from both U.S. News and World Report and Directorship magazines.
“Business aviation has played a big role in earning (those) titles (for Virginia),” said Governor McDonnell. “(We have) 220 companies… that belong to the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), the leading organization for companies that rely on GA aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful.”
In the Aviation Month proclamation, Governor McDonnell praised general aviation for its contributions to the state – naming corporate flight departments, charter and air taxi companies, shipping and express freight businesses, environmental protection flights, firefighting and search and rescue operations, medical evacuation flights, public safety and law enforcement aviation operations, agricultural application, weather and traffic reporting operations, recreation interest and tourism flights.
“Unlike some other political leaders, Governor McDonnell recognizes that the key issue for most Americans today is jobs, jobs and jobs,” said Ed Bolen, president and CEO of NBAA. “He doesn’t bash business flying. Instead, he rightly praises it for its critical role in rebuilding businesses.”
Governor McDonnell also cited GA’s nearly $30 billion of annual economic benefit to local communities, including $7.6 billion from airport-dependent businesses alone and 259,000 jobs for state residents, which create more than $11 billion in wages every year. In addition, he said, the Commonwealth of Virginia provides more than $19 million annually for airport development and improvement, which leverages some $81 million in federal funds.
Virginia’s Department of Aviation has long been recognized as a leader among state aviation offices, and was the first such agency in the nation to earn both IS-BAO and ISO 9000 certification. The office is also aggressively pursuing a program to place weather reporting at all public-use airports. “(And position instrument) approaches to every runway end for better business access to every public airport in the Commonwealth,” added Governor McDonnell.
The state also hosts eight aviation-related museums, ranging from the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles Airport in northern Virginia to the Military Aviation Museum at Virginia Beach in the southeast corner of the state.
In all, 30 states have made official declarations of the importance of business aviation to their citizens, companies and communities. Review a sample of state proclamations.