Florida Gov. Rick Scott has once again recognized the importance of general aviation (GA), proclaiming April 2013 as General Aviation Appreciation Month. He issued a similar proclamation in June 2011.
“Florida is home to 190 charter flight companies, 509 repair stations, three fractional providers and 73 flight schools operating 858 aircraft and providing 3,500 jobs,” the governor said in his proclamation. “The aviation industry in Florida supports over 1 million jobs with an annual payroll of over $30 billion.”
In Florida, GA airports alone account for 54,000 jobs with an annual payroll of $1.8 billion. The state is also a favorite for flight training schools and numerous GA companies, including aircraft manufacturers Piper Aircraft, Piaggio Aero, Embraer and avionics giants Rockwell Collins and Avidyne Corporation.
Florida is home to 129 public-use airports, serving 51,671 pilots and 25,328 GA aircraft, and representing nearly 80% of all aircraft operations in the state.
In his proclamation, Scott acknowledged that many Florida communities are “heavily” dependent on GA and local airports, and pointed out the value of GA for the flow of commerce and tourism in the state, as well as in Florida’s response to emergencies and natural disasters.