June 15, 2011
Alliance For Aviation Across America Highlights Significant Milestones At Its Four Year Anniversary
The Alliance for Aviation Across America held a conference call for members of the media Tuesday with Senator Mark Begich (D-AK), Mayor Carl Brewer of Wichita, KS, Henry Ogrodzinski, President & CEO of the National Association of State Aviation Officials, and Niel Ritchie, Executive Director of the League of Rural Voters to highlight the significant progress that has been made over the past four years to educate the public about general aviation. Participants specifically highlighted the fact that over half of the country – 29 states in total – have passed proclamations recognizing the importance of aviation, most of them specifically highlighting the value of general aviation. Recent states that have passed proclamations for June include South Carolina, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Illinois, and Florida. This milestone also comes as the Alliance mar. the fourth year since its founding in 2007.
“As co-founder of the Senate General Aviation Caucus, I am extremely proud the caucus has grown to 34 members and acted to increase awareness about the critical importance of general aviation to our economy and our country,” said Senator Mark Begich (D-AK). “With six times more pilots per capita than the rest of the country, general aviation is the lifeblood of Alaska and it’s fitting that Alaska was one of the first states to pass a proclamation recognizing its importance. The Alliance deserves recognition for their work to raise the profile of general aviation and I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress to promote an industry which generates over $150 billion in economic activity annually.”
“General aviation is such a crucial, yet often under-recognized part of our economy, and I hope that we are finally beginning to help our public to understand how important it is for our nation,” stated Mayor Carl Brewer of Wichita, KS. “As the Air Capital of the World, we in Wichita know well the tremendous economic impact that general aviation has in our state and across the country. General aviation drives thousands of jobs and over $7 billion in economic impact here in Kansas alone, and over $1.2 billion jobs annually.”
“It is extremely significant that over half of the states in the country have passed proclamations highlighting the importance of aviation,” said Selena Shilad, Executive Director of the Alliance for Aviation Across America. “We commend our partners at the state and local level, as well as Members of Congress, for such significant progress in raising awareness about immense value of general aviation, particularly for small towns and rural communities around the nation. We look forward to working with aviation and non-aviation groups and individuals alike to raise awareness about this crucial lifeline and economic generator for our nation.”
The Alliance formed in early 2007 with just a couple hundred members, and has since grown to over 5700 member organizations and individuals, over 20% of whom are non-aviation groups and individuals. Over the last two years, the Alliance has spearheaded several initiatives aimed at raising awareness about the value of general aviation, including a Mayor’s letter to President Obama, and an economic impact survey which details the impact of general aviation in all 50 states. In addition, the Alliance has been working with many state and local officials to urge Governors and local officials to pass proclamations and resolutions highlighting the value of general aviation.
“General aviation is a literal lifeline to rural communities around the nation for a host of important services and resources, including medical care, law enforcement, and disaster relief. We commend the states that have passed these proclamations, and look forward to further progress in helping to raise awareness the great importance of these airports and aircraft for rural America and our country as a whole,” said Niel Ritchie, President of the League of Rural Voters.