PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard has proclaimed June as “General Aviation Appreciation” month in South Dakota.
“Because South Dakota is an agricultural state, general aviation is very important to crop spraying but because of our rural nature, general aviation is also necessary to serve our emergency response and wildland fire needs,” says Secretary of Transportation Darin Bergquist.
The official proclamation cites the importance of general aviation to communities in the state for continued flow of commerce, tourism and visitors. General aviation is also important for the state’s response to emergencies and natural disasters, as well as a key component of business at South Dakota’s commercial airports.
The proclamation also says the nation’s aviation infrastructure represents an important public benefit and general aviation contributes to the state’s economy, medical care, and transport of goods to Native American reservations; supports forest firefighting; and boosts economic development for small communities.
South Dakota has 70 public-use airports serving 2,247 certified pilots and 1,260 registered general aviation aircraft, including South Dakota’s Civil Air Patrol Squadron.
Organizations such as the South Dakota Pilots Association, the South Dakota Aviation Association and many others recognize and promote the interests and importance of aviation in South Dakota and throughout the world.
Aeronautics Commission chairman Vernon “Skip” VanDerhule says, “With the importance of general aviation to the state, the Aeronautics Commission puts a lot of emphasis on airport improvement programs and we are proud of the condition of all our general aviation and commercial airports”.