West Virginia governor declares October ‘General Aviation Appreciation Month’

West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has declared October “General Aviation Appreciation Month.”

The proclamation highlights general aviation’s pivotal role in supporting access to medical treatment, commerce and critical services throughout the state. The general aviation industry in West Virginia contributes $616 million to the economy annually.

“We thank Governor Tomblin for recognizing the enormous contribution of general aviation in West Virginia,” said Selena Shilad, Executive Director of the Alliance for Aviation Across America. “Local community airports and general aviation aircraft are a tremendous resource for local communities, serving as a lifeline for businesses, charities, law enforcement, and hospitals.”

“This is an important proclamation that recognizes the 32 public airports throughout the state, which support 1,370 general aviation aircraft and more than 2,200 pilots,” Craig L. Fuller, President of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), commented. “These airports and aircraft connect communities in West Virginia to each other, facilitating medical care and disaster relief, while also connecting West Virginia with the rest of the country. We would like the thank Governor Tomblin for helping raise public awareness about the vital importance of general aviation.”

“The general aviation industry, which includes business aviation, generates $150 billion every year and supports 1.2 million jobs throughout America, and in West Virginia, the industry supports more than $600 million in economic activity,” said Ed Bolen, President and CEO of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA). “We commend the Governor for signing this proclamation recognizing the benefits of business aviation for local communities in West Virginia and across the United States.

Henry Ogrodzinski, President of the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) stated, “Airports and general aviation throughout West Virginia support businesses, manufacturers, and emergency responders, maintaining local jobs and creating economic opportunity. We look forward to working with Governor Tomblin and West Virginia Aviation Director Susan Chernenko on issues concerning airports and general aviation.”

“General aviation aircraft support the efforts of police, firefighters, emergency medical responders, search and rescue teams, non-profit organizations and natural disaster relief crews throughout West Virginia and across the country,” said Tom Hendricks, President and CEO of the National Air Transport Association (NATA). “We thank Governor Tomblin for highlighting the importance of the state’s air transportation system.”

“Throughout the state of West Virginia, helicopters serve an essential role in supporting businesses and public safety thanks to their speed and versatility,” stated Matt Zuccaro, President of the Helicopter Association International (HAI). “We appreciate Governor Tomblin’s efforts to recognize the vital importance that general aviation, and specifically helicopters, brings to people across West Virginia.”

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