Local airports connect communities to the global marketplace, and in California, aviation’s total annual economic impact weighs in at $168.7 billion, supporting more than a million jobs, according to the organization that hosts an event to recognize aviation’s role in the state.
California’s population of pilots (59,841) and aircraft (29,211) each represents 10 percent of the nation’s population of pilots and aircraft, says the website of the California Aviation Day event that was held at the state Capitol in Sacramento on April 20.
AOPA is a sponsor of the event as the association works to keep general aviation in the forefront for elected officials in California, as it does in other states.
AOPA members met and mingled with advocacy staff representatives, Airport Support Network volunteers, and legislators, to discuss the issues and inspect the displays of a variety of exhibitors. News media were also present.
AOPA bestowed its annual Joseph P. Crotti Award for advocacy on Carol Ford, vice president of the California Pilots Association’s Region 3, for her diligence and dedication as a liaison for local general aviation, resolving issues with the state policymakers.
“It is wonderful that legislators like Senator Fuller have a passion for flying and understand the value of aviation to California. Their support is greatly appreciated," said Sherry Miller, president of the Association of California Airports.
“Aviation Days are an efficient and convenient way for AOPA members to connect directly with their legislators and legislative leadership and share their experiences about flying in California,” said Jared Esselman, AOPA’s director of state government affairs.