ALBUQUERQUE — Governor Susana Martinez, U.S. Senator Tom Udall and Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry joined the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and hundreds of manufacturing workers, local officials, business leaders and aviation enthusiasts at Cutter Aviation for a general aviation (GA) jobs rally Tuesday.
The event included remarks from leaders of GAMA members in New Mexico, including Aspen Avionics, Bendix/King by Honeywell and Eclipse Aerospace.
“What a privilege to have heard today from Governor Martinez, Senator Udall and Mayor Berry, leaders who truly understand and appreciate the kind of high-quality jobs general aviation manufacturing brings to New Mexico,” said GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce. “They are working hard, both here and in Washington, to support and promote policies that will encourage growth in New Mexico’s general aviation sector and aerospace industry as a whole.”
“The aviation industry, exemplified by the many companies here today, plays such an important and increasing role in New Mexico’s economy,” said Martinez. “New Mexico is a natural fit for general aviation, with our wide open spaces, great weather and over 300 good flying days a year. Aviation in our state supports than 48,000 jobs, generates $1.3 billion in payroll annually and contributes $3.1 billion to our economy. That’s something worth celebrating, and worth building on. The sky is truly the limit for aviation in New Mexico.”
“The general aviation industry is growing rapidly in Albuquerque, and our state is well positioned to be a hub for aviation innovation,” Udall added. “I am committed to ensuring that Congress works with the aviation industry and entrepreneurs so they have the support they need to create jobs in New Mexico.”
“Hundreds of aviation enthusiasts attended today’s rally, including representatives from local aviation manufacturing companies,” Barry noted. “This event, in addition to the already meaningful economic impact of the Albuquerque airports, is a great economic driver for our city. General aviation just at the Sunport and Double Eagle II already generates approximately $125 million per year.”
Nationally, the GA industry contributes more than $150 billion to the U.S. economy annually and supports 1.2 million jobs. In New Mexico, GA contributes more than $761 million to the state’s economy annually and GAMA manufacturers alone employ almost 400 New Mexicans.
“Aerospace continues to grow in our state, and we are proud to be a part of it,” said John Uczekaj, President and CEO of Aspen Avionics. “We are confident this rally will help bring a greater awareness to the aerospace opportunities here and attract those who want to build their aviation careers and make New Mexico their home.”
Kevin Gould, President of Bendix/King, noted, “Bendix/King is proud to call New Mexico its home. Key to our growth in New Mexico is access to a very talented base of aerospace professionals who will develop the new and innovative light aircraft electronics for the 21st century. As a bonus, the frequent blue sky weather environment enables us to undertake year-round flight testing.”
Ed Lundeen, Senior Vice President for Eclipse Aerospace, said, “Eclipse Aerospace is pleased to be a part of the growing general aviation business community based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We have been very fortunate to find a highly qualified base of skilled aviation manufacturing technicians and professional staff in New Mexico to enable our business plan, which involves the continued ramp-up of operations and production in anticipation of delivering the first new Eclipse 550 aircraft later this year.”
GAMA is an international trade association representing over 80 of the world’s leading manufacturers of general aviation airplanes and rotorcraft, engines, avionics, components and related services. GAMA’s members also operate repair stations, fixed based operations, pilot and maintenance training facilities and they manage fleets of aircraft. For more information: GAMA.aeroPictured in top photo: AOPA President Craig Fuller, Aspen Avionics John Uczekaj, and Senator Tom Udall