April 16, 2013
By Dan Namowitz
A Colorado bill that could boost job growth in the aviation maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) business has passed the House and is headed for action in the state Senate, where AOPA and other industry supporters are urging speedy passage.
House Bill 13-1080 would expand an existing state income tax credit of $1,200 per new employee to MRO companies. AOPA, the National Business Aviation Association, the Colorado Airport Operators Association, and the Colorado Pilots Association believe that the legislation would strengthen the state’s MRO network and provide an incentive for more such businesses to establish themselves there.
David Ulane, AOPA Northwest/Mountain regional manager, testified before the Senate Finance Committee April 16, saying, “By passing this legislation, existing MRO facilities in the state would be encouraged to expand, adding highly paid, family wage jobs to Colorado’s economy and in turn strengthening their business and the aviation system. Additionally, passage of this legislation could encourage MRO facilities located in other states to relocate to Colorado, stimulating new economic development, jobs and aviation activity.”
Ulane is explaining to lawmakers that aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul businesses employ highly skilled aviation professionals to safely maintain a fleet of more than 220,000 aircraft nationwide, including nearly 7,700 in Colorado.
Those aircraft are the backbone of a Colorado industry that generates nearly 341,000 jobs with an annual payroll of $11.2 billion, producing a total economic impact of $32.2 billion, Ulane wrote in a March 28 letter to Claire Levy, chair of the Colorado House Appropriations Committee.
Ulane urges AOPA members in Colorado to support the bill as it moves to the Senate, and to monitor the @AOPANorthwest Twitter feed and the AOPA Northwest/Mountain advocacy page for updates and calls for support.
“A strong MRO network provides aircraft owners and pilots with broad choices for quality aircraft maintenance, while creating significant economic benefit for the state,” he said.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor.
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