April 2, 2012
By Dan Namowitz
Missouri honored its aviators in March with a governor’s proclamation and an annual state aviation day held at the Capitol in Jefferson City.
During a ceremony March 22, Gov. Jay Nixon issued a proclamation recognizing the critical role general aviation plays for the state’s citizens, in emergency responses, and in support of businesses. The proclamation acknowledged the significant interest the state has in the “continued vitality” of GA.
Missouri has 131 public-use GA airports, 15,882 pilots, and 6,814 GA aircraft, contributing $2.4 billion, or $437 per capita to the state’s economy, it said. The state is also home to 31 charter companies, 54 repair stations, and eight flight schools.
“A proclamation is a tangible way of outlining the importance and value of aviation in Missouri,” said AOPA Central Southwest Regional Manager Yasmina Platt. “It not only recognizes the facts and figures of GA’s contribution to Missouri, but serves as a powerful and informative resource that demonstrates importance of GA to the public, and educates policymakers.”
On March 27, Platt joined more than 300 Missouri pilots who gathered at the state capitol in Jefferson City for the annual Missouri State Aviation Day—an event initiated in 2006 by the Missouri Pilots Association.
The GA community members discussed this year’s bills of importance to general aviation, met legislators and their staff members, and made contact with business leaders, organizations, FAA representatives, Missouri Department of Transportation officials, and fellow pilots.
In 2012, AOPA has identified 11 bills of importance to general aviation in Missouri. They include measures to continue the state aviation trust fund through 2023, and a bill that would help aircraft maintenance shops by extending the time allowed for filing a mechanic’s lien on an aircraft from 30 days to 180 days. Another bill would require safety markings on certain anemometer towers.
Advocacy and Legislation,
Department of Transportation,
Pilot Skip Gibbs regularly uses his Bonanza A36 to bring medical volunteers and supplies to remote areas of Mexico. Just before sunset, Gibbs was flying to the historic city of El Fuerte in the state of Sinaloa where LIGA International Flying Doctors of Mercy has been doing good works since 1934.
The board of Pennsylvania’s Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority will wait 120 days before making a final decision to close Braden Airport, citing community concerns.
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