SD governor calls on President to protect GA

The Alliance for Aviation Across America recently released a letter from South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard to President Obama asking the administration to recognize the critical role that general aviation plays in the economy and in communities throughout South Dakota. Specifically, Daugaard stressed the need to protect the general aviation sector from cumbersome taxes that would hurt the industry and the economy.

Governor Daugaard (pictured) joins a growing list of state and local officials that have emphasized the need to protect general aviation. Governor John Lynch of New Hampshire, Governor Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, and Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter of Idaho have sent similar letters to President Obama expressing the need to protect the general aviation industry. In February, more than 100 mayors from 48 states sent a letter to President Obama calling on him to highlight the importance of general aviation across the country, and to date, 40 states have passed proclamations recognizing the importance of aviation and general aviation in particular.

The text of Governor Dauggard’s letter is below:

Dear President Obama,

I am writing to ask for your support of general aviation in South Dakota. I believe it is imperative to recognize the importance of general aviation to South Dakota’s citizens, communities, and economy. In South Dakota, general aviation supports more than 7,000 jobs and provides more than $800 million in economic impact annually. The small businesses, farmers, charitable organizations, and first responders who count on general aviation and utilize the airports which support it represent a strategically vital resource for our state.

For South Dakota, general aviation aircraft and the airports they utilize represent a critical link to emergency services, economic opportunity, and global markets. Moreover, whether it pertains to crop protection, disaster response, law enforcement activities, or crucially needed services such as blood, organ, or patient transport, the general aviation community is literally saving lives every day.

New tax burdens on a critical sector of our economy will do more harm than good and put many jobs at risk. For this reason, I strongly oppose the imposition of the “user fee” taxes on general aviation operators in any form.

Thank you for recognizing my concerns and those of South Dakota’s citizens, businesses, and farms as you move forward. I am grateful for your careful consideration of this issue.


Dennis Daugaard





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