State Claims 51 Public Airports, 4,000 Pilots, And One Under-Construction Spaceport
The Alliance for Aviation Across America, AOPA, the NBAA, and the National Association of State Aviation Officials on Wednesday commended New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson’s recent declaration naming September “Aviation and Aerospace Appreciation Month.” The proclamation highlighted the importance of New Mexico‘s 51 publicly-owned airports and more than 4,000 general aviation pilots that help drive support industries such as tourism, police and fire protections, agriculture, and businesses across the state.
“We applaud Governor Richardson for highlighting the immense value that general aviation provides to not only New Mexico, but the entire country,” said Selena Shilad, Executive Director of the Alliance for Aviation Across America. “General aviation is a literal lifeline for business, organ and blood transport, law enforcement, and search-and rescue efforts, particularly for communities without commercial airline service.”
“The business aviation community would like to applaud Governor Richardson for his support of the aviation industry,” said National Business Aviation Association President and CEO Ed Bolen. “General aviation in New Mexico alone contributes $761 million in economic impact and allows businesses to reach areas of the state the commercial airlines do not serve. Many businesses owe their success their aircraft and we commend the governor for his support and recognition of this essential industry.”
“With more than 4,800 general aviation pilots and more than 60 public-use airports across the state, general aviation helps to drive the economies of these local communities and supports everything from medical care to business growth, and agriculture to law enforcement across New Mexico,” said AOPA President and CEO Craig L. Fuller. “We appreciate Governor Richardson’s recognition of the economic impact of general aviation and look forward to working with him to promote these important airports and aircraft.”
Henry Ogrodzinski, President of the National Association of State Aviation Officials said, “Our vast network of community airports is critical to sustaining the millions of jobs, and providing access to a host of important services and resources. David Ploeger, Director of the New Mexico Department of Transportation’s Aviation Division has been vital in continuing to promote a solid aerospace and aviation industry within New Mexico. I applaud both him and Governor Richardson for their hard work and look forward to continuing to work with them in the future.”
Of course, New Mexico is also home to SpacePort America, which will serve has home base for Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo. The commercial spaceport has been under construction since 2009, with the runway expected to be finished later this year.
Source: AERO NEWS