Aviation supporters in Ohio, the “birthplace of aviation,” have a new committee, created to ensure a statewide focus on growing the aviation and aerospace industries.
Legislation to create the Ohio Aerospace and Aviation Technology Committee (OAATC) was passed last year, and committee members — led by state Rep. Rick Perales — have begun developing strategies to promote Ohio’s aviation, aerospace and technology industries, according to a report at NBAA.org.
The 15 members of the committee include legislators, industry, military and academic representatives and government officials.
According to Perales – a former commander in the U.S. Air Force – early recommendations in developing a strategic plan for the Ohio aerospace and aviation sector include the creation of a website to be used as a tool for businesses, universities and military installations regarding events, news and material related to aerospace and aviation.
The group is also looking at developing tax incentives and workforce development strategies to encourage growth in the industry, he said.
“One of the key processes that has been driving the effectiveness of the committee is the formation of work groups,” said Perales. “The Industry Support Work Group, for instance, is currently working on legislative possibilities for enhancing Ohio’s tax climate for aerospace and aviation companies. In addition, the Workforce Development Work Group is looking into long-term solutions to bring Ohio’s aviation businesses the STEM educated workers that are so in-demand right now.”
According to a 2014 Ohio Airports Economic Impact Study, general aviation airports in Ohio contribute more than $1.8 billion to the state’s economy, supporting more than 17,000 jobs and $688 million in annual payroll.