The Alliance for Aviation Across America marked the fourth anniversary since its founding by holding a telephone press conference Tuesday, June 14, citing the economic impact of general aviation and how groups are working more closely together to get across the value of general aviation to communities and the nation.
Twenty-nine state governors have now issued proclamations about the value of GA to their states, many citing the economic impact, the number of jobs, and the services provided by the airports and aircraft.
U.S. Senator Mark Begich (D-Alaska) led off the comments stating that “general aviation is the lifeblood of Alaska.” He said 80% of the communities in the nation’s largest state are reachable only by aircraft. The state’s capital, Juneau, is reachable only by boat or aircraft. It is not road accessible. Begich, who chairs the Senate’s general aviation caucus, said that is now the largest caucus in the upper House.
Carl Brewer, mayor of Wichita, joined in citing the high economic impact general aviation has not only for his city and state but for the entire nation. He said aviation represented the highest export business in the United States for several years running.
Airports serving general aviation offer many communities their only contact with air transportation, an important element for business, Niel Ritchie said. He is executive director of the League of Rural Voters.
Henry Ogradzinski, president and CEO of the National Association of State Aviation Officials, told the reporters states recognize how general aviation serves and what this means to big and small communities in their states.
The alliance is a non-profit, non-partisan organization organized by Washington general aviation alphabet groups and now boasting membership and support by individuals and organizations outside the aviation industry that are helping to inform the general media and the public about general aviation.