New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has issued a proclamation designating Sept. 29, as “Aviation Awareness Day,” to highlight the value of general aviation to the Garden State.
The decree is the first such recognition by New Jersey in recent memory, according to officials at the National Business Aviation Association.
The proclamation notes that New Jersey’s aviation community includes “a cross-section of professionals…with emphasis on the special needs of the state’s business community.” It cites general aviation’s role in supporting “direct employment for approximately 18,000 New Jersey residents,” and notes that general aviation is vital for many state businesses and farms, as well as providing disaster relief and a wide array of travel options.
“Business aviation has long been important in New Jersey,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen, “but its value hasn’t always been well understood.”
Gov. Christie will officially declare Aviation Awareness Day on Sept. 29 at a luncheon of the New Jersey Aviation Association, where several awards will be presented to legislators and others who have helped aviation grow in the state.
According to the latest New Jersey State Aviation System Plan, the jobs supported by general aviation in New Jersey provide at least $624 million a year in combined wages, and generate an estimated $1.7 billion in annual economic benefits. Another study shows that community airports in the state host nearly 850,000 visitors yearly, who spend almost $200 million.
The New Jersey designation of Aviation Awareness Day follows similar declarations this year in Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.