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80 Percent of States Recognize the Value of Aviation

June 29, 2012

With Nevada’s Aviation Appreciation Month proclamation issued in June, 80 percent of U.S. states have officially recognized the importance of general aviation, including business aviation, to their citizens, companies and communities.

Several of the 40 states have proclaimed the industry’s value more than once.

“That’s four out of every five U.S. governors so far,” said Selena Shilad, executive director of the Alliance for Aviation Across America (AAAA). “When 80 percent of top elected state officials agree that something is vital to their state, you can bet it is.”

The Alliance is a non-profit, non-partisan organization of nearly 6,000 individuals and organizations, including NBAA, that represent not only a wide cross-section of the U.S. GA community, but also a host of voices outside the industry. The organization works to support access for aviation in small towns and rural areas across the country.

All of the 40 state proclamations have included one or more of the themes articulated through the No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign, which was launched in February 2009 as a joint effort of NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). The campaign uses surveys, studies and data to prove that business aviation is helping businesses grow and thrive, creating highly skilled jobs, saving lives and providing a lifeline for America’s small and medium-size cities and towns.

“Our No Plane No Gain initiative is fact-based,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “It’s helping policymakers and opinion leaders appreciate why business aviation is essential in America today.”

Most of the state proclamations to date have specified the dollar value of general aviation, including the contribution from business flying. Nationally, the industry generates more than $150 billion in economic impact and supports about 1.2 million jobs. Particularly in states like Nevada, where most residents live in just two cities, businesses rely on aviation to reach small, isolated communities.

Some states have gone beyond proclamations in supporting GA and business flying, writing to the White House to highlight their backing for the industry. Govs. John Lynch of New Hampshire, C.L. “Butch“ Otter of Idaho, Mary Fallin of Oklahoma and Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota have also sent individual letters to President Obama along these lines, and more than 100 mayors from 48 states sent a letter to the president in February highlighting the critical importance of GA and local airports to their communities.

“The strong support expressed by officials across the nation is proof that general aviation, including business aviation, is a tremendous lifeline and economic engine for communities,” said Shilad. “It supports commerce, law enforcement, disaster relief, medical care and a host of other services and resources.”

The 40 states that have issued proclamations include Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.