Nebraska honors general aviation

April 8, 2010

From left to right: Bob Joyce, manager of Silverhawk Aviation, LNK; Steve Gade, vice president of sales and marketing, Duncan Aviation; Diane Bartels, Ninety-Nines, Air Force Association; Andre Aman, deputy director, Nebraska Department of Aeronautics (NDA); Bill Lyon, operations division manager, NDA; Patsy Meyer, Ninety-Nines; David Morris, aviation specialist, NDA; Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman; Ronnie Mitchell, NDA director; Dan Petersen, FAA assistant director, LNK office; Bill Heckathorn, Performance Aircraft Sales and Flight Training, LNK; and James Hilliard, Performance Aircraft Sales and Flight Training, LNK. Click the imager for a larger version.

Charles Lindbergh and thousands of World War II aviators learned to fly in Nebraska. Now, the state has 81 airports serving 3,600 pilots and 2,000 general aviation aircraft. Gov. Dave Heineman recognized the importance of GA to the state April 7 by proclaiming April Nebraska General Aviation Appreciation Month.

The proclamation cites the rich aviation history in Nebraska and GA’s contributions to the economy, medical transport, disaster relief, and more. GA contributes more than $1 billion to the state’s economy each year, it notes.

“Given our state’s geography, a great many businesses and communities depend upon General Aviation aircraft and small aircraft of all types for mobility, access to medical transport, medical outreach clinics, disaster relief, economic opportunity and a wide range of critical resources,” the proclamation explains.

AOPA Central Regional Representative Bill Hamilton suggested the proclamation to Heineman’s office, and the governor was receptive to the idea. Nebraska Department of Aeronautics Director Ronnie Mitchell and Aviation Specialist David Morris helped choose April 2010 for Nebraska General Aviation Appreciation Month because it is the month for the annual statewide student Aviation Art Awards contest.

Proclamations like the one in Nebraska illustrate that political leaders are aware of the many benefits of their state’s aviation industry. AOPA continually promotes the benefits of GA to lawmakers in each state and monitors all legislative actions that could affect the community.