State Proclamation Highlights GA Value To State's Economy,
Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe (D) (pictured) unveiled a
proclamation declaring March 2010 to be "Aviation and Aerospace
Appreciation Month" in Arkansas last week, a move praised by the
Alliance for Aviation Across America (AAAA), the Aircraft Owners
and Pilots Association (AOPA), the National Business Aviation
Association (NBAA), the Air Care Alliance (ACA), and the National
Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO). Beebe announced
the proclamation as part of the Governor's Aerospace Summit which
was held at the Convention Center in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
"With over 100 airports, 5,135 pilots and 5,400 jobs directly
attributed to the industry, general aviation, in particular, is
extremely vital to Arkansas's statewide economy," the proclamation
states. General aviation reportedly contributes approximately
$494.5 million to the Arkansas economy every year.
"We commend Governor Mike Beebe for highlighting the importance
of general aviation and aviation generally, which is key to
Arkansas and to our nation's overall economy," said Selena Shilad,
Executive Director of the Alliance for Aviation Across America. "We
must continue to support these aircraft and airports, and the
businesses and organizations that depend on them, as a crucial
resource for small towns and rural communities.
AOPA President Craig Fuller said, "By signing this statewide
proclamation, Governor Beebe has demonstrated that he understands
the vital transportation, economic, health, and safety missions
that general aviation performs for Arkansas and communities around
the nation. I'd like to extend my sincere appreciation on behalf of
AOPA to Governor Beebe. We look forward to collaborating with him
on his efforts to protect and promote general aviation."
"Thousands of jobs and businesses in Arkansas and across the
country depend on business aviation, making it a critical economic
driver for our nation," said NBAA President Ed Bolen. "That is why
this proclamation is so important. Thank you to Governor Beebe for
all your support for general aviation."
NASAO CEO Henry Ogrodzinski said, "Our nation's network of
airports and aircraft employ $1.2 million Americans and contribute
$150 billion to the national economy, not to mention that they are
key for disaster relief, law enforcement, and a host of other
crucial resources. We commend the Governor for taking this
important step, and look forward to continuing to work with
Air Care Alliance President Lindy
Kirkland said, "Many towns and communities across Arkansas and the
country simply could not have access to medical care and other
important resources if it weren't for our nation"s small airports
and general aviation aircraft. I am so pleased Governor Beebe has
pledged his support of general aviation."