August 27, 2014
By Benét J. Wilson
AOPA has joined the Nevada Airports Association in requesting that Gov. Brian Sandoval allocate funds in the upcoming budget year to the Nevada Aviation Trust Fund. No monies have been set aside in the state budget for the trust fund since 2005, when $500,000 was committed.
According to state records, the 2005 allocation of $500,000 resulted in Airport Improvement Program grants totaling approximately $19 million being awarded to 17 general aviation airports in Nevada. In the last Nevada Department of Transportation report on the economic impact of GA airports, covering October 2003 through March 2005, the direct output impact was $176.5 million, creating 2,135 jobs, and generating direct labor income of $57.8 million.
The trust fund is needed to provide local matching funds for FAA Airport Improvement Program grants to local airports. Currently, there are no state dollars in the trust fund to help local airports in obtaining these grants.
AOPA has been actively supporting funding for airport improvements in Nevada in the past, and is making the case for funding in next year’s budget. AOPA Western Pacific Regional Manager John Pfeifer sent a letter to Sandoval on Aug. 19 urging inclusion of an allocation to the Nevada Aviation Trust Fund in the upcoming budget.
“It is reported that some Nevada airports are now unable to provide local matching funds in order to accept federal AIP funds,” he wrote. “We urge the inclusion of an allocation to the fund in the upcoming budget to allow needed projects to proceed and continue the creation of jobs.”
Pfeifer will be in Carson City actively advocating for the trust fund allocation when the Nevada legislature returns for the 2015 legislative session, which begins on Feb. 2, 2015.
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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