April 17, 2013
By Benét J. Wilson
Because general aviation and community airports in Missouri play a critical role in the lives of citizens, as well as in the operation of businesses and farms, Gov. Jay Nixon has proclaimed April 2013 as “General Aviation Appreciation Month.”
The proclamation acknowledges that “the state of Missouri has a significant interest in the continued vitality of general aviation, aerospace, aircraft manufacturing, educational institutions, aviation organizations, community airports and airport operators.” GA also contributes $2.4 billion to the state’s economy and accounts for 16,000 jobs statewide.
Missouri is home to 31 charter flight companies, 54 repair stations, and eight flight schools operating 86 aircraft, and the state relies heavily on GA and community airports for the continued flow of commerce, tourists, and visitors.
“With nearly 16,000 general aviation pilots, 6,814 general aviation aircraft, and 125 public-use airports across the state, general aviation helps to drive the economies of these local communities and supports everything from medical care to business growth, and agriculture to law enforcement across Missouri," said AOPA President Craig Fuller. "We appreciate Governor Nixon's recognition of the economic impact of general aviation and look forward to working with him to promote these important airports and aircraft.”
The proclamation came as the Missouri State Aviation Council and the Missouri Airport Managers Association held meetings in Lake of the Ozarks, Mo., where AOPA Central Southwest Regional Manager Yasmina Platt gave presentations on issues affecting general aviation.
The movement to exempt thousands of general aviation pilots from the third class medical certification process is gaining momentum in Congress and the aviation community.
The recent warrantless stops and searches of law-abiding pilots on general aviation flights have drawn the attention of mainstream media.
Santa Monica will appeal a court decision dismissing a lawsuit seeking to release the city from its obligation to keep SMO open and operating.
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