Website Updates, Continued Petition Efforts Create Greater Awareness of GA’s Impact
The Alliance for Aviation Across America held an NBAA press conference Monday to highlight the organization’s progress in making the benefits of GA public knowledge. Formed in April of 2007, the Alliance was created to educate public and elected officials about the important of general aviation. Since 2007, the Alliance has grown to almost 6,000 individuals and associations, including many members who are not in the aviation industry.
Selena Shilad, the Executive Director of the Alliance, demonstrated a massive website update that now includes interactive maps which allow users to see the detailed economic impact of aviation in a chosen geographic area. Visitors to the site can see the individual economic contributions of airports, states, and even custom area ranges to obtain a better understanding of how general aviation is assisting the economy and providing new jobs.
The Alliance has encouraged Mayors, Governors, and other public officials to petition the President with the hope of changing big government’s perception of aviation and cast it in a more positive light.
Several board members representing different segments of industry also detailed their experiences with the Alliance. Niel Ritchie, Executive Director of the League of Rural Voters, discussed generating support for general aviation in North Dakota and other rural communities. “The industry supports not just millions of jobs, but it’s a lifeline for rural communities,” he said.
Tom Hendricks, President of NATA, also stressed the important of the Alliance in fostering support for GA. “We need to do a much better job of educating the public on what life would be like if we didn’t have these aviation assets,” said Hendricks.
The continued growth of the Alliance for Aviation Across America stems from the organization’s focus on empowering local citizens and government officials. By creating local networks comprised of groups and people from several industries, citizens are better able to rally others and to convince policymakers to lend their support.