Washington, DC – Today, national aviation organizations applauded Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee for signing a proclamation declaring the month of August “Rhode Island General Aviation Appreciation Month.” According to the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, general aviation directly supports over 1,400 jobs in the state, contributing $465 million to the state’s economy.
“We would like to thank Governor Chafee for joining the long list of Governors who have recognized the importance of general aviation,” said Selena Shilad, Executive Director of the Alliance for Aviation Across America (AAAA). “General aviation and local airports have tremendous value, serving as a critical lifeline for businesses, charities, medical organizations, law enforcement and other crucial services across the country. We also thank the Rhode Island Pilots Association and the Westerly Airport Association for their support.”
“The state of Rhode Island is home to more than 1,000 pilots who rely on airports across the state to serve local customers, deliver goods, reach patients in need, and assist communities following natural disasters,” said Craig L. Fuller, President and CEO of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). “We would like to thank Governor Chafee for recognizing the importance of general aviation, and we look forward to working with state and local officials to further raise the awareness on this vital industry.”
“Across the United States and in Rhode Island, business aviation is vital in supporting strong economies and jobs, helping businesses to reach their customers and allowing essential services to reach communities in need,” added Ed Bolen, President and CEO of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA). “All told, the industry supports 1.2 million jobs and $150 billion in economic activity in the United States annually. We look forward to working with Governor Chafee in to raise awareness about the critical importance of business aviation in Rhode Island.”
“Here in the United States, our vast network of airports plays an essential role in sustaining local jobs and serves as a lifeline to many local communities, including in Rhode Island,” stated Henry Ogrodzinski, President of the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO). “We welcome this proclamation and look forward to working with Governor Chafee on issues relating to aviation in Rhode Island.”
James K. Coyne, President and CEO of the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) stated, “general aviation and community airports are vital assets in Rhode Island’s transportation infrastructure as well as throughout the country, especially in places with limited access to commercial airports. We thank Governor Chafee for highlighting the significance of this industry to the communities of Rhode Island.”
“Helicopters provide vital life-saving services to the citizens of Rhode Island and, with their unique capabilities, are capable of conducting many other missions that benefit the greater good,” said Matt Zuccaro, President of the Helicopter Association International (HAI).” We thank Governor Chafee for this opportunity to spotlight the economic and operational benefits that general aviation, and specifically helicopters, provides to the people of Rhode Island.”