December 29, 2011
By Jim Moore
General aviation has a friend in Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, who designated December as General Aviation Appreciation Month.
Branstad noted in the proclamation that GA plays a critical role in Iowa life, serving agriculture, business travel, air medical transport, cargo, law enforcement, charter, personal travel, and recreation. Branstad singled out for special attention the role GA plays in preparing the state to respond to disaster, including direct response to emergencies and supporting the training and response of various agencies and organizations.
Iowa aviation also supports more than 47,000 jobs, generating $18 billion in economic activity within the state. The state’s 5,600 pilots and 4,000 GA aircraft log more than one million operations each year, and many communities depend on GA to maintain the flow of commerce and tourism. The state has 108 public-use airports, 69 fixed-base operations, 24 charter companies, and 35 certified repair stations.
AOPA’s Central Southwest regional manager recently put GA’s utility to the test with a whirlwind trip covering four states, seven airports, and nine meetings.
Wisconsin’s governor has signed a bill adding aviation to an existing recreational-use statute.
Smith Field in Fort Wayne, Ind., has withstood three separate attacks—in the 1970s, 1990s, and 2002—to close it and redevelop the land. Now, it's thriving.
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