California has become the fiftieth state to issue a proclamation recognizing the importance of aviation in the state, according to the Alliance for Aviation Across America. Statewide proclamations have been issued either by governors or state legislatures, except for Montana, which issued a letter. The first state to issue a proclamation was Georgia, in 2009.
AOPA was one of the original charter members of the alliance, formed in April 2007. Other charter members included the Experimental Aircraft Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, the National Business Aviation Association, the National Air Transport Association, the Air Care Alliance, and the National Agricultural Aviation Association, among others.
Since then, the alliance has grown into a coalition with more than 6,300 individuals, businesses, agricultural groups, FBO’s, small airports, elected officials, charitable organizations, and leading business and aviation groups. It has worked to raise awareness about the value of general aviation and local airports, particularly for rural communities that depend on GA to support business activity, medical care, disaster relief, firefighting, agriculture, law enforcement, and other important resources and services.
Issues covered by the alliance include FAA tower closures, user fees, federal funding for airports, air traffic modernization, law enforcement and emergency services, and agricultural aviation. It also created an economic impact survey showing GA’s benefits on businesses, local economies, and communities in each state.
“AOPA is proud to be a founder of the alliance, and is pleased that every state has publicly acknowledged the value of general aviation,” said Greg Pecararo, AOPA vice president of airports and state advocacy. “This recognition is valuable to us as AOPA works in all 50 states to advance our members' interests.”