February 26, 2013
New Mexico lawmakers learn about the value of general aviation on Feb. 14 during Aviation Day at the Capitol.
General aviation felt the love on Valentine’s Day from New Mexico lawmakers during Aviation Day at the Capitol. New Mexico House and Senate committees advanced bills Feb. 14 to reinstate funding from the state’s general fund for the aviation trust fund.
Money designated from the general fund for the aviation trust fund stopped June 30, 2012. These bills would not only reinstate the funding but expand what the money could be used for to include “planning, program administration, construction, equipment, materials and maintenance of a system of airports, navigation aids and related facilities.” Previously, the money could only be used for air service development programs and was primarily directed toward commercial-service airports.
AOPA is actively supporting both bills, House Bill 105 and Senate Bill 2, and will work “to ensure the funding is reinstated back into the state’s aviation budget to continue to develop and improve GA airports in the state,” said AOPA Central Southwest Regional Manager Yasmina Platt, who testified in support of HB105 and attended Aviation Day at the Capitol.
Meanwhile, legislators learned more about the value of GA in the state and how it affects mobility, jobs, safety, and tourism and revenue during Aviation Day at the Capitol. Platt represented AOPA with a booth touting the mobility of GA along with other groups including the New Mexico Department of Transportation Aviation Division, New Mexico Pilots Association, and Albuquerque International Sunport.
Department of Transportation,
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The GAO released its report “Aviation Workforce: Current and Future Availability of Airline Pilots,” and general aviation has a strong interest in its findings.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.