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State aviation funding crucial to aviation safety, AOPA tells Iowa legislatureState aviation funding crucial to aviation safety, AOPA tells Iowa legislature

<BR><SPAN class=twodeck>Benefits economy</SPAN><BR><SPAN class=twodeck>Benefits economy</SPAN>

AOPA is encouraging the Iowa legislature to reconsider the proposed budget for the next fiscal year and provide proper funding for aviation. The Iowa Transportation Appropriations Bill for fiscal year 2003 provides no funds for aviation. This year, the state will spend around $2.1 million from the general fund on aviation. In letters to state legislative leaders, AOPA asked for continued funding for aviation projects in Iowa.

"It is important to have proper state funding in order to maintain a system of safe and efficient airports in the state," AOPA Midwest Regional Representative Bob Dickens said. Dickens will be in Des Moines this week participating at the Iowa Airport's Day at the Capitol and meeting with key state legislators to discuss the future of aviation in Iowa and the importance of proper state funding.

AOPA's letter emphasized that civil aviation generates more than $220.7 million economic activity in Iowa. In 2000 aviation generated more than $8.15 million to the state's general fund through the collection of aviation-related taxes. Proper funding is critical, considering such programs as the Aviation Weather and Observation System Program, Runway Pavement Marking Program, Planning Grant Program, Airport Inspection and Certification Program, and Airport Improvement Program, which all depend on state funds.

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