AOPA lent its support to an annual aviation awareness day during which Minnesota aviation advocates made their case for the industry's contribution to the state at the Capitol in Saint Paul.
The March 16 event, the fifth annual Minnesota Aviation Day, was sponsored by the Minnesota Business Aviation Association, the Minnesota Aviation Trades Association, and the Minnesota Council of Airports.
The organizations encouraged “anyone actively involved in aviation in Minnesota and who believes in the importance of his or her local airport” to participate in the daylong schedule of activities.
The session, themed “Aviation Works for Minnesota,” featured 2.5 hours of morning meetings with lawmakers, and an afternoon meeting of the state House Transportation Committee, among other proceedings.
“Aviation days provide an excellent opportunity to meet with elected officials and other policymakers to press support for measures to help keep states’ aviation industries competitive and improve aviation infrastructure,” said Jared Esselman, AOPA director of state government affairs. “They also give the industry a chance to provide information to officials on whether legislation already passed is having the intended effect.”
One example of such beneficial legislation was a bill passed several years ago that exempts aircraft parts from sales tax—a type of measure that numerous states have passed recently to reduce aircraft maintenance costs for based aircraft and allow repair stations located in the state to compete with shops in neighboring states for business, he said.
“AOPA works closely with local aviation organizations like the Minnesota Business Aviation Association and the Minnesota Council of Airports to give national support to local efforts,” said Bryan Budds, AOPA Great Lakes regional manager.
“Aviation day events are also good opportunities for AOPA members to bring a unified voice to the state Capitol when legislators are especially focused on aviation issues,” he added.