AOPA was among those who sponsored the annual Aviation Advocacy Day in Albany March 11 and 12, where leaders from across New York state advocated for laws favoring general aviation. The event, organized by the New York Aviation Management Association, also had participants from the National Business Aviation Association and the New York Department of Transportation.
GA in New York generates $4.5 billion in economic activity annually, employs more than 500,000 people through direct and indirect jobs, and makes up 4.7 percent of the state’s workforce. As such, a yearly event like New York’s Aviation Advocacy Day is one that should be emulated in other states.
Attendees at the event met with 70 legislators and their staff to garner support for bills S.273-b and A.3677-b, the Aviation Jobs Act, co-sponsored by Senator Bill Larkin and Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo. The bill is a multiyear effort to eliminate the state sales and use tax on general aviation aircraft, which will produce jobs and reduce obstacles to ownership.
Attendees also lobbied to secure $10 million for the State Aviation Capital Grant Program and increase Airport Improvement Program appropriations from $4 million to $8 million, via bills S.6354-b and A.8554-b.
In 2004, New York made great progress in cultivating the competitiveness of its aviation industry by enacting a sales tax exemption on aircraft maintenance, and repair parts and service, according to AOPA. “The 2004 exemption was an important step, and resulted in measurable new economic activity” said AOPA Eastern Regional Manager Sean Collins. “We continue to work with our allies in New York to help the legislature understand that the next step—a sales tax exemption, will be even more beneficial to the state’s aviation industry and economy.”
Passing the New York Aviation Jobs Act will allow the state to remain competitive with neighboring states, experience an immediate increase in the number of based aircraft, and generate hundreds of new, good-wage-paying jobs. The bill will also support the state’s system of airports through tenant services, increase ancillary tax revenues, and produce an abrupt increase in economic activity.
“Events such as these bring the industry together and serves an opportunity to recognize the importance of an industry that it produces hundreds of thousands jobs and billions of dollars in local and state revenue annually,” said Collins. “AOPA attends every year to represent our more than 13,000 members in New York state.”