National Aviation Organizations Applaud The Move
National aviation organizations are praising Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie (pictured) for declaring 2013 the “Year of General Aviation.” In Hawaii, general aviation contributes more than $412 million into the economy every year and aviation supports more than 58,000 jobs. Across the country, general aviation has an economic impact of $150 billion annually and supports 1.2 million jobs.
“We appreciate Governor Abercrombie’s leadership in passing this proclamation and recognizing the critical importance of general aviation to Hawaii,” said Selena Shilad, Executive Director of the Alliance for Aviation Across America. “Throughout the state, general aviation serves as a vital resource for business and tourism, as well as public safety. We look forward to working with Governor Abercrombie and the General Aviation Council of Hawaii.”
“General aviation and community airports in Hawaii play a crucial role in emergency response and keeping the beaches safe, as well as inter-island commerce,” stated Craig Fuller, President and CEO of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). “We appreciate the Governor’s recognition of these airports and aircraft, and look forward to working with him on issues important to aircraft owners and pilots throughout the state.”
Ed Bolen, President and CEO of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) said, “Business aviation keeps Hawaii connected and expands the economic opportunities of its residents. We thank Governor Abercrombie for his support of business aviation, and look forward to working closely with the Governor in the future.”
“Hawaii’s system of small airports is an excellent example of the value of general aviation in parts of the country where transportation options are limited,” stated Henry Ogrodzinski, President of the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO). “We thank Governor Abercrombie and Aviation Director Ford Fuchigami for their work in drawing attention to this critical public resource.”
“We thank Governor Abercrombie for recognizing the importance of the general aviation, particularly in Hawaii where it is so important to interconnectivity,” said Tom Hendricks, President and CEO of the National Air Transportation Association (NATA). “In Hawaii and across the country, general aviation provides essential services such as business development, emergency response, and natural disaster relief.”
“In addition to their vital public safety roles — law enforcement, helicopter EMS, search-and-rescue — helicopters are an important part of Hawaii’s tourism industry,” said Matt Zuccaro, President of the Helicopter Association International (HAI). “Governor Abercrombie’s recognition of the importance of general aviation in the state also recognizes the economic benefit helicopter air tour operators provide to Hawaii.”