West Virginia once again proclaimed the value of general aviation July 26 when Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D) declared August 2011 “General Aviation Appreciation Month” in the Mountain State.
Tomblin’s predecessor, Joe Manchin (D), was one of the first state leaders to publicly recognize the value of general aviation in December 2009.
Tomblin’s proclamation states that GA airplanes and airports “play a critical role in the lives of our citizens, businesses, communities and the state of West Virginia.” In proclaiming General Aviation Appreciation Month, the governor seeks to “encourage all citizens to recognize the vital strategic resource that aviation is in West Virginia.”
The proclamation, which was announced at the West Virginia Aviation Conference, was presented to NBAA Senior Vice President Lisa Piccione by the state’s Department of Transportation Secretary Paul Maddox.
“Governor Tomblin clearly recognizes the importance of business flying to companies and communities in the Mountain State,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “For the mountainous and rural communities of West Virginia, business aviation is a critical link to national and international commerce, not to mention emergency services.”
“Given our state’s geography,” said Tomblin, “a great many businesses and communities depend upon general aviation aircraft and small aircraft of all types for access to medical treatment, mobility, economic opportunity, disaster relief and a wide range of critical resources.” He further noted that West Virginia has 33 public airports, “enabling businesses to remain part of the nation’s air transportation system and connected to the world’s global marketplace.”
General aviation contributes $616 million to the West Virginia state economy, or as the proclamation notes, $333 per capita.