PEORIA, Ill.— Congressman Darin LaHood hosted a General Aviation Round Table Aug. 23 at Mount Hawley Auxiliary Airport (3MY) to discuss the transportation issues facing small airports, rural areas, and the GA community.
“General aviation allows businesses to efficiently transport people, goods, and products across the nation, and is therefore responsible for $219 billion in total economic output in the United States and $37 million in the 18th district of Illinois,” LaHood said. “These pilots and the airports and facilities they utilize connect rural communities with larger hubs of transportation, improving access to medical care and expedited travel.”
“Today’s tour and forum provided an important opportunity for me to learn how federal government can support the industry as its members facilitate economic growth and job creation,” he continued. “As Congress continues to debate a long term extension of the Federal Aviation Administration, it is invaluable for me to hear directly from local general aviation pilots to represent their perspective in Washington. Thank you to all who came out to participate.”
In attendance was the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association‘s Senior Director of Legislative Affairs Scott Verstandig, who noted, “General aviation supports 42,400 jobs and contributes more than $9 billion in output to the Illinois economy, and as a member of the general aviation caucus, Congressman Darin LaHood understands this well. We appreciate Rep. LaHood for taking the time to meet with AOPA members to discuss what can be done to protect and promote general aviation and all its benefits in Illinois.”
Gene Olson, Director of Airports of the Metropolitan Airport Authority of Peoria, added, “I am very pleased and excited that Rep. LaHood met with Central Illinois pilots at the Mt. Hawley Airport today. It shows his interest and support of general aviation and his understanding of the importance of Mt. Hawley to the development and economic health of the Peoria area.”
“Mt. Hawley supports all of the aspects of general aviation activity, including corporate, business, law enforcement, medical, pipeline and powerline patrol, flight training, and also recreational flying,” Olson continued. “With nearly two thirds of airline pilots coming from the ranks of general aviation, airports like Mt. Hawley are important for economic growth and for the future of tomorrow’s pilots.”