GA Summit planned

General aviation’s economic impact to the Dallas-Fort Worth area will be discussed at the fifth annual Aviation Summit Feb. 16 at the Irving Convention Center.

At the summit, hosted by the North Central Texas Council of Governments Transportation Department in coordination with the FAA, researchers from the University of North Texas will share data from a year-long study of the economic impact of general aviation. A comprehensive study completed in 2005 by the Texas Department of Transportation showed general aviation accounted for $8 billion in output in the state, 60,000 jobs, and $2.5 billion in payroll.

The new data and system plan will provide an updated picture of the importance of general aviation in the region and the necessity of sustaining a qualified aviation workforce, according to officials. Forecast aviation demand, capacity needs and plans for accommodating future growth will be discussed during the summit.

Elected and municipal officials, business and community leaders, economic development and aviation professionals, planning and zoning commission members, builders, realtors, students and others are invited to attend the summit, which also features aviation historian and award-winning author Giacinta Bradley Koontz, who will describe the evolution of aviation mechanics. Remarks from Koontz, a self-described “aviation anthropologist” who has been featured on the History Channel, will be especially timely since 2011 marked the centennial of powered flight in North Texas, officials note.

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