Just before the anniversary of the Wright brothers’ historic first powered flight in Kill Devil Hills, N.C., the state celebrated its rich aviation history with a proclamation declaring Dec. 3 through 10 “Aviation Appreciation Week.”
North Carolina Gov. Beverly Eaves Perdue recognized the importance of aviation to her state with the proclamation, which cites the state’s aviation heritage as well as current contributions, such as the $12 billion annual economic impact of North Carolina aviation and the deployment of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast technology.
“[G]iven the vastness of North Carolina, from our western mountains to our coastal beaches and all points in between, our communities depend on aviation for access to medical treatment, civil defense, mobility, economic prosperity and natural disaster relief,” the document reads. It also explains that the state is home to more than 100,000 active duty military personnel and more than 17,000 civilian aviation employees who make significant contributions to the state and abroad.
"Governor Perdue's proclaiming Aviation Appreciation Week is a clear indication of the high value North Carolina places on its 14,000 pilots and aviation in the state," said AOPA President Craig Fuller. "The proclamation recognizes North Carolina’s proud tradition of aviation—a tradition that the Wright Brothers began with their flight at Kitty Hawk 107 years ago this week. We look forward to working with Governor Perdue to continue to promote general aviation and the aviation community in the state."
Proclamations like the one in North Carolina illustrate that political leaders are aware of the many benefits of their state’s aviation industry. AOPA continually promotes the benefits of general aviation to lawmakers in each state and monitors all legislative actions that could affect GA.
“Governor Perdue’s proclamation rightly highlights the vast benefit that general aviation provides to residents across North Carolina,” said Selena Shilad, Executive Director of the Alliance for Aviation Across America, which promotes this type of declaration. “General aviation is a literal lifeline to small towns and rural communities across North Carolina and the nation, and we commend the Governor for taking action to recognize this important form of transportation.”