March 25, 2013
By Benét J. Wilson
California airports provide 117,273 direct jobs with a multiplier effect of 386,016 total state jobs related to commercial aviation, according to a new report by the California Airports Council. The report covers the 30 commercial service airports in the state, all of which also serve general aviation.
But, the report warns, federal sequestration threatens this important segment of the California economy. “This report demonstrates that California commercial aviation is a major source of employment and airports are significant contributors to the California economy. It remains to be seen what impact sequestration will have, but we are concerned," said Rod Dinger, California Airports Council president and airport director for Redding Municipal Airport.
Wages earned by Californians working directly at airports are $7.6 billion annually, and almost $23 billion for all commercial aviation related jobs in the state. This does not include the value of goods sold to support commercial aviation operations.
Direct commercial aviation industry output is more than $20 billion, with multiplier effects yielding almost $63 billion statewide, said the report. “California has made major investments in commercial aviation infrastructure in recent years that allows for the growth of jobs and a robust goods and services economy,” said Bill Sherry, California Airports Council immediate past president and airport director for the Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport. “Unfortunately, the impacts of federal sequestration may soon result in a decline in the very economic benefits this study outlines.”
The jobs within commercial aviation are spread among different industries and services, including fixed-base operations. FBOs supported 9,121 total jobs in the state, while aircraft maintenance/repair supported another 7,816.
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.
The National Aeronautic Association has awarded the Collier Trophy for “the first unmanned, autonomous air system operating from an aircraft carrier.”
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