Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe today unveiled a proclamation declaring March 2010 to be “Aviation and Aerospace Appreciation Month” in Arkansas, the latest in a series of states issuing such proclamations.
With more than 100 airports, 5,135 pilots and 5,400 jobs directly attributed to the industry, general aviation, in particular, is extremely vital to Arkansas’s statewide economy. In fact, general aviation contributes approximately $494.5 million to their economy every year.
“We commend Governor Mike Beebe for highlighting the importance of general aviation and aviation generally, which is key to Arkansas and to our nation’s overall economy,” said Selena Shilad, executive director of the Alliance for Aviation Across America. “We must continue to support these aircraft and airports, and the businesses and organizations that depend on them, as a crucial resource for small towns and rural communities.”
AOPA President Craig Fuller said, “By signing this statewide proclamation, Governor Beebe has demonstrated that he understands the vital transportation, economic, health, and safety missions that general aviation performs for Arkansas and communities around the nation. I’d like to extend my sincere appreciation on behalf of AOPA to Governor Beebe. We look forward to collaborating with him on his efforts to protect and promote general aviation.”
“Thousands of jobs and businesses in Arkansas and across the country depend on business aviation, making it a critical economic driver for our nation,” said NBAA President Ed Bolen. “That is why this proclamation is so important. Thank you to Governor Beebe for all your support for general aviation.”
NASAO CEO Henry Ogrodzinski said, “Our nation’s network of airports and aircraft employ $1.2 million Americans and contribute $150 billion to the national economy, not to mention that they are key for disaster relief, law enforcement, and a host of other crucial resources. We commend the Governor for taking this important step, and look forward to continuing to work with him.”
Air Care Alliance President Lindy Kirkland said, “Many towns and communities across Arkansas and the country simply could not have access to medical care and other important resources if it weren’t for our nation’s small airports and general aviation aircraft. I am so pleased Governor Beebe has pledged his support of general aviation.”