Missouri honors general aviation

April 21, 2011

General aviation contributes $2.4 billion, or $437 per capita, to the Missouri economy. Gov. Jay Nixon recognized the importance of aviation to his state with a proclamation dubbing March 2011 “General Aviation Appreciation Month.”

The proclamation cites GA’s role in creating jobs and communities’ reliance on GA and small airports for the continued flow of commerce, tourists, and visitors to the state. AOPA Great Lakes Regional Representative Bill Blake attended the signing April 14 at the invitation of Missouri Pilots Association (MPA) President James H. Morris.

“[G]eneral aviation and community airports play a critical role in the lives of citizens, as well as in the operation of businesses and farms; and … the state of Missouri has a significant interest in the continued vitality of general aviation, aerospace, aircraft manufacturing, educational institutions and aviation organizations and community airports and airport operators,” the document reads. It adds that GA plays a vital role in emergency response and natural disaster relief.

The MPA recently held a State Aviation Day, co-sponsored by a number of national and local organizations including AOPA, to inform legislators of GA’s importance in the state and the significance of the industry’s economic footprint. Morris and Blake attended the signing, along with Missouri Administrator of Aviation Joe Pestka and representatives from NBAA, the Missouri State Aviation Council, the Missouri Airport Managers Association, and the State Aviation Advisory Committee.

“With 131 airports and over 15,000 pilots, Missouri has strong ties with the aviation community,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. “Across Missouri, the aviation industry allows pilots to serve their customers, reach patients, deliver goods, and assist communities in times of natural disaster. We are excited about working with Governor Nixon on continuing to support this valuable industry.”

Proclamations like the one in Missouri 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 industry.

“We welcome the news of Governor Nixon’s proclamation highlighting the importance of general aviation to Missouri and thank the Missouri Pilots Association (MPA) for its dedication to promoting general aviation," said Selena Shilad, executive director of the Alliance for Aviation Across America, which promotes this type of proclamation in states across the country. “General aviation is a critical lifeline for businesses, law enforcement, charities, medical organizations, and farmers across Missouri and the entire United States.”