A new law has gone into effect in New Hampshire establishing a dedicated aviation trust fund to help support airports that do not receive federal funding.
The measure, which passed July 1, is seen helping to assure that 12 mostly privately owned, public-use airports will remain available for pilots’ use, and will continue to provide economic benefits to their communities into the future.
The legislative process began in February 2010, with the bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Chris Nevins (R-Hampton), guiding it through a legislative process that included an interim study undertaken last summer, said Mark Kimberling, AOPA director of state legislative affairs.
“The study was focused primarily on the economic benefit of these airports to their local communities and region,” Kimberling said. “AOPA retained an economist to collaborate with AOPA to show the economic benefit and intrinsic value of the airports to their communities.”
Kimberling credited Dr. Jon L. Smith of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research, East Tennessee State University with being instrumental in preparing the economic study. The document was presented to the legislature in September.
Legislative finance committee members helped coordinate the study, and when the 2011 legislative session began, Nevins reintroduced the bill to establish a state aeronautical fund for maintenance and capital improvements at New Hampshire’s airports that are open for public use.
Kimberling credited Rick Dyment, president of the Granite State Airport Management Association, with providing key assistance during the legislative process.
He congratulated Nevins, “who introduced the original bill and steadfastly pursued it with his colleagues in the legislature until it was enacted.”