October 2, 2012

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has signed a proclamation declaring October 2012 as “General Aviation Appreciation Month, and asked all residents of the Mountain State to recognize its “critical role in the lives of our citizens, businesses, communities and the state of West Virginia.”

His proclamation made him the second West Virginia chief executive to extend such recognition of all general aviation (GA), including business aviation, in the state since the debut of the No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign in early 2009. In 2010, then-Gov. Joe Manchin III also declared January as GA Appreciation Month.

West Virginia depends on GA to move people, products and services quickly to isolated communities otherwise served only by twisting two-lane roads.

“A great many businesses and communities depend on GA aircraft and small aircraft of all types for access to medical treatment, mobility, economic opportunity, disaster relief and a wide range of critical resources,” Tomblin said in his proclamation.

Review the West Virginia proclamation. (1.12 MB PDF)

NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen noted that Tomblin has been an ongoing supporter of business aviation in the Mountain State. “This is the second year in a row that the governor has decreed GA Appreciation Month in West Virginia. The first was in August last year,” said Bolen. “We deeply appreciate the governor’s support.”

Tomblin noted in his proclamation that GA contributes a total of $616 million, or $333 per capita, to the state’s economy. Despite its relatively small size, West Virginia has 32 public airports, more than 2,200 active pilots and is home base for 1,370 GA aircraft. About $46 million in wages and benefits alone flow from jobs attributed to GA in the state.

The governor specifically mentioned the contribution of business aviation to the state, saying it provides access for businesses and tourists, enabling companies to remain connected to the world’s global marketplace.

“Use of GA by businesses and farms in WV is directly tied to the future growth and prosperity of the state,” said Tomblin.

NBAA Southeast Regional Representative Harry Houckes said that the state is looking forward to more aviation and aerospace investment to help diversify the economy in West Virginia.

“West Virginia is already home to several forward-looking aviation and aerospace companies, including Aurora Flight Services, Bombardier Aerospace, Lockheed Martin and Pratt and Whitney,” said Houckes. “Gov. Tomblin obviously appreciates the potential for business flying to bring even more businesses to the state.”

To date, 45 U.S. states have issued such proclamations recognizing the value of GA and business flying. Learn more about other regional aviation proclamations.