In the past two weeks, two mayors from Mississippi issued local proclamations recognizing the essential services and economic impact general aviation provides to their cities and the state of Mississippi. Mayor Jason L. Shelton of Tupelo and Mayor Scott B. Phillips, Jr. of Olive Branch both declared the month of February to be “General Aviation Appreciation Month” in their respective cities.
In Mississippi, general aviation has an annual economic impact of $860 million and provides medical transport. There are 78 public-use airports in the state that support over 2,500 active general aviation aircraft and over 4,000 pilots.
To view the Tupleo proclamation, click here.
To view the Olive Branch proclamation, click here.
Last week, two mayors from Washington issued local proclamations declaring February “General Aviation Appreciation Month.” Mayor Betty Barnes of Bingen, WA and Mayor Chuck Spieth of Oroville, WA publicly recognized the value of general aviation, including the $3.18 million in economic activity that the industry brings to Washington annually.
The Dorothy Scott Municipal Airport in Oroville contributes an annual economic impact of $3.1 million and supports 51 local jobs. Near Bingen, the Columbia Gorge Regional Airport has an annual economic impact of $2.4 million and supports 38 local jobs. Both airports provide essential services to the surrounding areas, including agricultural spraying, air ambulance services, firefighting, and medical transport.
BoulderChannel8, a community TV channel in Boulder, Colorado, recently hosted a segment on the value and importance of Boulder Municipal Airport. The video focuses on the invaluable role played by the airport during the September 2013 floods, when a slow-moving cold front dumped nearly a year’s worth of rainfall in the mountains west of Boulder.
During the flood and the aftermath, Boulder Municipal Airport hosted over a thousand first responders, military personnel, and staff from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The general aviation airport ended up providing support for 100,000 people during the six day ordeal.
“General aviation airports are overlooked, so it’s important to show how GA airports play such a critical role,” said Airport Manager Tim Head, “We need to remind Boulder and other communities on how important it is to have an asset like the airport.”
According to the 2013 Colorado Division of Aeronautics Airport Economic Impact Study, Boulder Municipal is responsible for $69 million in local economic impact. To find out more about the flood relief efforts supported by Boulder Municipal Airport, click here.
The Mid-Atlantic Aviation Coalition (MAAC) is hosting the 19th Annual New Jersey Aviation Conference, set for May 2-3, 2014. This is the first year the conference will span over two days, which will “encourage greater participation by offering attendees a symposium on the first day, followed by a value-added, airport-based event on the second day,” stated MAAC Vice President Robert Checchio.
The first day’s symposium is themed “Seize the Day – Build for Tomorrow,” and will feature four panels of experts discussing education, policy, technology, and safety issues, as well as a question and answer session with New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner Jim Simpson. The day will round off with a keynote speech by Master Instructor Rich Stowell.
At the newly implemented ground school component of the conference, attendees will experience a high-level exploration of the wonder of flight. Instructors Rich Stowell and Linda Castner will use biological, historical, and technological context to explain “The Art and Science of Flying Ground School.”
For over four decades, the pilots and helicopters that make up Long Beach Police Department’s Air Support Unit have played a vital role in supporting the area’s law enforcement tactics. Not only does the unit aid in vehicle pursuits, they allow the police force to conduct more thorough searches for missing persons, help coordinate and set up perimeters, and provide information to ground officers. In 2013, helicopter units assisted ground units with locating and apprehending more than 380 felony suspects in the Long Beach area.
In recent months, police departments from surrounding areas have grounded their helicopter operations, often citing cost as the main factor. LBPD Police Chief Jim McDonnell believes the cost is justified by the overwhelming benefits the program provides to the city. In a recent interview, McDonnell referred to the helicopters as “force-multipliers,” stating that “a helicopter can help do the job of 20 to 25 ground officers.”
The force’s helicopters also significantly decrease response time to calls received by the department. LBPD pilot Brian Armstrong estimated that it takes approximately three minutes to fly from one side of the city to the other, meaning the helicopters are usually the first on the scene and can provide essential tactical information to ground officers before they even arrive.
In November 2013, Fueling California, a nonprofit advocacy group for major fuel consumers donated $10,000 to help offset some of the helicopter fuel costs. The contribution will provide fuel for about three months. Looking to the future, the Long Beach PD hopes to replace their decade-old video systems in their helicopters, funded by a federal grant.
To read more about the Long Beach Police Department’s Air Support unit, click here.
In a recent study conducted by the Missouri Department of Transportation, it was revealed that the state’s 99 public-use general aviation airports and nine commercial-service airports created an economic impact of $11.1 billion in 2012 alone. Additionally, the study concluded that about one out of every 35 jobs of the state’s workforce is supported by the airport system and its activities.
Airport Economic Impact Surveys are a vital tool in quantifying the benefits of aviation. Not only do they assist in putting a monetary assessment on aviation’s economic value, they provide an opportunity to recognize other ways general aviation assists state functions that may not be as obvious.
In Missouri, the 99 public use general aviation airports are hubs for small businesses to ship their products in a timely, reliable manner. One such example is H&H Color Lab, a high quality photo printer based out of Raytown. The company prides itself on setting the standard for customer service, and their corporate flight department and two airplanes at Lee’s Summit Municipal Airport enable H&H to go above and beyond for their customers through quick deliveries and face-to-face meetings.
Outside of the business sector, general aviation airports in Missouri provide necessary services that enhance state resident’s quality of life. General aviation assists in agriculture, medical patient transport, traffic monitoring, search and rescue, and numerous other benefits.
Executive Director Selena Shilad recently had the opportunity to tour the Wichita, Kansas facility of the National Aviation Consortium, located in the Wichita Area Technical College. The NAC partners with technical and community colleges, providing students a method of effective and affordable training in order to fast-track them for a career in the aerospace industry.
Many aviation careers require specific skills that only come with the proper training. After identifying a shortage in skilled workers, the NAC set out to ensure the future competitiveness of the US aviation industry by training new workers for open positions. The Consortium works closely with aerospace leaders to develop accelerated programs that allow students to earn national certifications and quickly fill the open positions in the aviation field.
Aside from the traditional student, the NAC works with veterans transitioning back into the work force. Through their partnership with the Manufacturing Institute, the NAC matches skills veterans gained while serving with jobs in the manufacturing industry.
Due to the impending shortage of skilled workers in the aviation industry, the NAC hopes to train 2,505 new workers by 2015. Click here to learn more and find out how you can get involved.
The NASAO Annual Convention and Tradeshow brings state aviation officials and members of the aviation community together to discuss issues facing the industry today and tomorrow. A day and a half of forums feature key executives from industry and government discussing the current state of affairs of the GA community, a candid look at regulatory and legislative issues, GA security, NextGen and other issues facing the states and airports. The exhibit hall features vendors ready to assist the states and airports in meeting their challenges with products and services. Spouses, friends, and alumni – former NASAO members who have served in state aviation positions – may enjoy a special guest agenda that showcases special attractions to be found at the event location. In addition to NASAO committee meetings and the annual member meeting and roundtable, NASAO members hold the Annual NASAO/FAA Summit with Federal Aviation Administration Regional Administrators.
The 2013 NASAO Annual Convention and Tradeshow is being held in Sioux Falls, South Dakota September 28-October 1st at the Sioux Falls Convention Center.
The New Mexico Air National Guard and the New Mexico Aviation Aerospace Association are hosting an ‘Aviation and Aerospace Career Fair’ On September 18, 2013 from 9 am to 3 pm at the Kirtland Air Force Base.
The event will highlight the importance of aviation in New Mexico and its impact on the local job market.
Most importantly, attendees will have the opportunity to meet with industry leaders involved in diverse areas of aviation, including research institutions, airlines and military personnel.
Visit www.nmaaa.net to find out more and to sign up for the event.
WAC to Host Aviation Leaders Selena Shilad on September 25 and Scott Ernest on September 26
The Wichita Aero Club will offer a double dose of aviation information in September when it hosts the leaders of two groups that have significant impact on the industry. Executive Director Selena Shilad of the Alliance for Aviation Across America (AAAA) will speak at the Wichita Aero Club’s September 25 luncheon and be followed the next day by Scott Ernest, CEO of Cessna. He will give a presentation at the first annual Kansas Aviation Expo Takeoff Reception sponsored by the Wichita Aero Club and Cessna. Mr. Ernest was previously scheduled to speak at the WAC February luncheon but it was cancelled due to the snowstorm. The Takeoff Reception will be held Thursday, September 26, 5:00 P.M. at the National Center for Aviation Training (NCAT). Those who purchase luncheon tickets for the Sept. 25 event can also attend the reception for an additional $10. Individual reception tickets are $20.
“Wichita will be treated to the equivalent of ‘Aviation Weekend’ in September with a Wichita Aero Club Luncheon, the newly-announced Kansas Aviation Expo and the annual Wichita Flight Festival happening back-to-back-to-back,” said Dave Franson, WAC President. “For five days, from the 25th to the 29th, there will be some very interesting and informative aero events taking place. The WAC is joining with Cessna to launch the Kansas Aviation Expo with a Takeoff Reception in the student commons of the National Center for Aviation Training. This event will feature heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks as well as a long-awaited presentation by Scott Ernest. The opportunity to hear Selena Shilad and Scott on consecutive days is special. It’s going to be a terrific aviation weekend,” Franson said.
Selena Shilad has been with the Alliance for Aviation Across America since it began in 2007. Prior to her work with the AAAA, Shilad coordinated strategic communications and media campaigns for several non-profit organizations and political campaigns. She has worked with former Governor of Michigan Jennifer Granholm (D) and former Congressman Chet Edwards (D) of Texas. She worked with Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island (D) on specific matters such as health care, banking, housing, and trade issues. In addition, Shilad was the Deputy Communications Director at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign. She possesses two Master’s Degrees, one from the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business and the other from the University of Chicago.
The Alliance for Aviation Across America was formed in 2007. It is a non-profit, non-partisan coalition of more than 6000 individuals, businesses, agricultural groups, FBO’s, small airports, elected officials, charitable organizations and leading business and aviation groups. The organization helps to raise awareness about the value of general aviation and local airports, particularly for rural communities.
Scott Ernest, CEO of Cessna, joined Textron in May of 2011. A 29-year veteran of General Electric Company, he served in a variety of key senior management roles, including vice president, general manager and global supply chain for GE Aviation immediately prior to joining Cessna as Chief Executive Officer. He also served as vice president, general manager and global services operations for GE Aviation’s services business. In addition, he held several general manager roles ranging from overseeing its sourcing organization to responsibility for its North American operations. He also led GE Aviation’s large aviation services businesses located in Singapore and Strother Field, near Winfield, Kansas.
At Cessna, Scott is responsible for overseeing Cessna’s new product and service development, strengthening its manufacturing and sourcing operations, and intensifying its global expansion efforts. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Akron and a Master of Science degree in engineering from the University of Cincinnati.
Since joining Cessna, he has presided over an expansion of the company’s service network in Europe and China, as well as the signing of agreements to assemble and sell Citation XLS+ business jets and Caravan turboprops in China. Cessna has also introduced several new models, including the Citation Latitude, new versions of the Citation X and Sovereign and the Mustang M2.
The Wichita Aero Club was established in 2008 to foster and promote interest in aviation, provide a forum focused on the industry’s issues and achievements and bring together those with a passion for flight in an environment that expands and enhances professional relationships and furthers cooperation and understanding.
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