The long, hot days of summer are here, which means lots of activity at general aviation (GA) airports nationwide. It also means that most congressional lawmakers are back in their home states and districts, catching up on work and making themselves more accessible to constituents.
“Many U.S. and state elected representatives are back in their districts for extended periods over the summer,” said Steve Hadley, NBAA’s director of regional programs. “For NBAA Members who want to spread the good news about business aviation, the summer months are ideal for giving airport or hangar tours, holding aviation days, flying elected officials or community leaders and distributing information about the the positive economic and social impact of aviation.”
In addition to the many resources and information available to aviation advocates on the NBAA website, Hadley recommended an online tool, available from the Alliance for Aviation Across America (AAAA), which provides up-to-the-minute statewide and regional economic and aviation information.
The alliance, of which NBAA is a member, is a nonprofit, non-partisan coalition of more than 5,900 individuals, businesses, agricultural groups, FBOs, small airports, elected officials, charitable organizations and business groups that strives to raise awareness about the value of general aviation and local airports, particularly for rural communities.
Detailed Economic Data for Every Community
The AAAA website tool, the Economic Impact of General Aviation, provides access to economic impact data for any state and most GA airports in the country. Simply by rolling your mouse over a map of the U.S., anyone can instantly find out the number of GA airports, pilots and aircraft in each state, in addition to finding out how many jobs general aviation creates and its statewide economic impact.
For example, a quick rollover of Minnesota shows that the state has 154 GA airports, 13,132 pilots, 7,781 aircraft and provides 37,600 jobs and $2.9 billion in economic impact to the state.
By clicking on a particular state, AAAA site visitors will get a statewide map showing every general aviation airport, helipad and seaplane base, and each airport’s economic impact. Another recently introduced tool, especially useful for aviation advocates reaching out to elected officials, is the ability to select economic impact information by ZIP code, and even by congressional district (this feature is not yet available for every state).
Selena Shilad, executive director of the Alliance for Aviation Across America, said that a highlight of the 4A website is that the information “is constantly being updated and expanded.”
Some other useful features of the site, according to Shilad, are the aviation event listings, state and regional proclamations about the importance of general aviation and the local news clips that cover the latest aviation happenings across the nation.
NBAA’s Resources for Grass Roots Advocacy
In addition to the tools offered by the Alliance for Aviation Across America, NBAA has resources for business aviation professionals to help them be effective advocates for their companies and the industry. NBAA’s Get Involved page offers tips for building relationships with elected officials, community outreach resouces and guidance for justifying the use of business aircraft to your company management.