Oct. 5, 2020
In a guest column published by the Jackson, MS-based Clarion Ledger newspaper, NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen and Greg Pecoraro, president and CEO of the National Association of State Aviation Officials, outlined why general aviation airports are more important than ever during the COVID019 era.
“For many rural communities, these airports and aircraft are also a key lifeline supporting critical services such as medical transport, fire-fighting, law enforcement, search and rescue, public land management, border and port security and pipeline inspection. In some places, even routine delivery of donated blood relies on general aviation,” the column states, adding as the pandemic has spread, the need for community airports has become all the more acute.
“Humanitarian groups have been transporting personal protection equipment and other medical supplies for front-line needs, as demonstrated by the recent delivery of more than 45 tons of critical supplies to medical and community centers in the Navajo, Hopi, Zuni, White Mountain Apache and San Juan Paiute reservations in New Mexico and Arizona,” wrote Bolen and Pecoraro. ”In another telling illustration, volunteer pilots have also been flying COVID test samples from rural communities to labs in bigger cities to expedite results.”
The column concludes: “It is vital we have a healthy and robust aviation industry, as mobility and access will be crucial to our economic recovery. Let’s try to keep that in mind as we look forward to the months ahead and support general aviation – a critical part of our transportation network.”