By Janice Wood
AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas General Aviation Caucus met for the first time last week.
“This is an opportunity to provide members of the Texas legislature information on the importance of general aviation in their local communities,” said State Representative John Kuempel (R-Seguin), who chaired the meeting. “General aviation provides over $15 billion in economic impacts to Texas and over 56,000 jobs – it’s an industry we need to protect and expand.”
Senator Troy Fraser, (R- District 24) was elected Vice Chair, Rep. John Frullo (R-Lubbock) and Rep Ralph Sheffield (R-Temple) are also sharing in leadership roles. Representatives in attendance included Rep. Burnam, Rep. Kleinschmidt, Rep. Doc Anderson and Rep. Raney.
Dave Fulton, Director of Aviation for the State of Texas, made the Caucus’ first presentation regarding the importance of general aviation airports. “The state of Texas has over 350 public use airports, of which only 26 serve airlines. GA airports allow us access to areas otherwise hard to get to, like West Texas, and provide not only economic benefits but quality of life benefits with higher paying jobs, life flight, fire fighting capabilities and other services.”
The non-partisan group, though just formed, already has close to 20 lawmakers participating from all across the state.
“We are excited about the formation of the GA Caucus and hope that our organization will be a resource to the members,” stated John White, president of Texans for General Aviation.
Texans for General Aviation is a statewide non-profit organization formed for the purposes of promoting and protecting General Aviation at the state and local level and encouraging careers in General Aviation to students throughout the state. Membership consists of pilots, non pilots, government officials, teachers, airport managers, FBO owners and others.