April 22, 2013
By Benét J. Wilson
Recognizing the critical role that general aviation and community airports play in the lives of the citizens, as well as the operation of businesses and agriculture in the state of Florida, Gov. Rick Scott has become the latest to designate April 2013 as General Aviation Appreciation Month.
“Florida is home to 190 charter flight companies, 509 repair stations, three fractional providers, and 73 flight schools operating 858 aircraft and providing 3,500 jobs,” the proclamation states. The state is also home to 154 fixed-based operators.
Many GA companies have headquarters or a major presence in Florida, including Piper Aircraft, Piaggio, Embraer, Rockwell Collins, and Avidyne, which all contribute millions of dollars to the state’s economy. Aviation organizations including the Florida Airports Council, Florida Aviation Trades Association, and the Florida Aviation Aerospace Alliance also support GA efforts.
“There are 129 public-use airports in the state, serving l,671 pilots and 25,328 general aviation aircraft, which represent nearly 80 percent of all aircraft operations in Florida,” Scott said in a statement. “The aviation industry in Florida supports over one million jobs with an annual payroll of over $30 billion, with general aviation airports supporting over 54,000 jobs and an annual payroll of $1.8 billion, and an economic benefit of $6 billion.”
AOPA eNewsletter and Social Media Editor Benét J. Wilson joined AOPA in 2011. She is working on her private pilot certificate.
A state-of-the art medical facility on remote Tangier Island in the Chesapeake Bay serves as a lasting memorial to the late Dr. David B. Nichols’ dedication to providing medical care to the community for 30 years. Now, Nichols’ aviation legacy—flying a Cessna 182 or Robinson R44 to the island every Thursday to provide that care—is set in stone.
The AOPA Medical Advisory Board is the latest group to urge quick action on the proposed FAA rule that would allow thousands more pilots to fly without the need for a third class medical certificate.
The Perlan Project is less than a year away from the first flight of a glider being built to ride waves near the edge of space. While construction continues in Oregon, the team’s pilots are staying proficient in more ordinary aircraft.
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