September 12, 2012
By Dan Namowitz
Proclamations recognizing the role general aviation plays to support the health, safety, and prosperity of the community at large have been issued by governors in Oklahoma and New Mexico, where a month of celebratory aviation activities were in progress as part of the state’s centennial observance.
In Oklahoma, Gov. Mary Fallin declared August 2012 the state’s Aviation and Aerospace Appreciation Month, issuing a proclamation noting the $1.2 billion impact of general aviation on the economy of the state, with 8,000 pilots and 11,000 aircraft operating from 139 public-use airports.
Throughout September, celebrations in New Mexico have marked a Centennial Aviation Celebration with fly-ins, airshows, and a weekend air tour.
A proclamation issued by Gov. Susana Martinez credited aviation with supporting 48,795 jobs and cited the role general aviation airports play in supporting firefighting responses. Martinez’s proclamation also noted that visitors to New Mexico who arrive in general aviation aircraft spend $61 million, providing economic support to many local communities.
Yasmina Platt, AOPA central southwest regional manager, expressed her appreciation for the governors’ actions. Platt is scheduled to participate in New Mexico’s celebratory events by attending the New Mexico Aviation Conference in Ruidoso Sept. 19 to 21, where she will teach a safety seminar on Sept. 21 and will also attend the Ruidoso Airport Open House the following day.
Platt is also a scheduled speaker at the New Mexico Centennial Aviation Celebration opening ceremony in Santa Fe on Sept. 28.
Environmental groups are asking the EPA to take another look at avgas even as a government-industry program moves closer to finding unleaded alternatives.
A father and his 14-year-old son were helping another pilot ferry a newly purchased aircraft from California to their home field in Virginia. The three made an overnight stop in Albuquerque before flying on to Illinois for fuel. But shortly after they parked the aircraft in Marion, Ill., they were approached by as many as 18 uniformed and non-uniformed law enforcement officers who came running toward the airplane.
The FAA has alerted AOPA to a spike in airspace penetration and violations of the Washington, D.C., Special Flight Rules Area, particularly stemming from operations at Leesburg Executive Airport (JYO) in Leesburg, Va.
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