April 1, 2014
By Benét J. Wilson
The second annual California Aviation Day will take place April 22 and 23 in Sacramento. The first event last April was deemed a success, and organizers expect even more to participate this year.
AOPA believes this event serves as a great opportunity for the industry to promote the variety, vitality, and importance of aviation in California. It’s also a great chance for pilots to meet with state legislators and staff all in one place, to personally discuss the issues of importance to general aviation.
The annual economic impact of GA in California is nearly $20 billion a year, the highest of any state. Annual economic impact of the entire aviation community is more than $154 billion, and aviation employs 1.1 million people in California. The state collects more than $350 million in tax revenue each year from aviation, while returning less than 2 percent to support the state’s airport system.
The Association of California Airports (ACA) is the principal organizer of the event, and is working with other aviation organizations, including AOPA, the National Business Aviation Association, the California Pilots Association, the California Airports Council, airports, aviation businesses, and community organizations. More than 25 aviation organizations and businesses also will participate. The north lawn of the California Capitol will host more than 500 visitors and be home to a large tent with displays and educational materials on April 23. Legislators are also expected to attend.
On April 22, small teams of aviation supporters will visit the offices of the 120 members of the legislature. An invitation-only legislative reception will be held at a local restaurant that evening.
AOPA Western Pacific Regional Manager John Pfeifer has served on the ACA board for more than 12 years and is on the executive committee that is planning Aviation Day. Melissa Rudinger, AOPA vice president of government affairs, will attend the event and speak at the opening ceremony.
“California Aviation Day brings the message of the importance and value of aviation in the state directly to the legislature and the general public via private meetings and a highly visible public event,” said Pfeifer. “Members in the Sacramento area are strongly urged to attend this important event.”
AOPA eNewsletter and Social Media Editor Benét J. Wilson joined AOPA in 2011. She is working on her private pilot certificate.
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