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Maine holds first aviation Advocacy DayMaine holds first aviation Advocacy Day

AOPA and the Maine Aviation Business Association joined together at the Maine State House in Augusta to tell general aviation’s story at the state’s first annual Capitol Advocacy Day for aviation.

“Airports and local aviation industries have needs. One way to fill those needs is by promoting aviation locally and reminding our elected officials of what we bring to the table—essential transportation, jobs, and economic activity,” said Sean Collins, AOPA Eastern regional manager, who represented the association at the April 25 event in the State House Hall of Flags.

Raising awareness of aviation’s contributions has been a long time coming. The most recent measure of the economic impact generated by Maine airports is a 2006 report, Economic Impact of General Aviation in Maine, that said Maine’s airports are responsible for more than 1,500 jobs and produce $103 million in annual economic output.

“In Maine’s case, an updated Economic Impact Study would surely go a long way to help acquire funding for non-Airport Improvement Program-eligible capital infrastructure needs,” Collins said. “Nor does the 2006 report reflect the state’s expanding aerospace exports sector, from which approximately 1,900 additional Maine residents derive income; or the latest activity generated by global aerospace giant Pratt & Whitney’s North Berwick, Maine, plant; or Bangor-based C&L Aerospace, or PK Floats of Lincoln.” 

Collins was joined at the podium by MABA President Barry Valentine; state Sen. David Miramant (D-District 12); Paul Richards, president of ATOL USA; Maine Aeronautics Association President Lisa Reece; and Peter Marucci, director of Maine ACE Camps.

Other participants included JMH Consulting; Auburn/Lewiston Municipal Airport; Bangor International Airport; Brunswick Landing; (BXM) / Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority (MRRA); PK Floats; the Seaplane Pilots Association; Penobscot Island Air; Katahdin Air Service; Northeast Air; Life Flight of Maine; and aviation staff from the Maine Department of Transportation.

“AOPA supports Capitol Day events because they help aviation tell its story,” Collins said, adding, “As the expression goes, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and these State House functions present an opportunity to be heard and remembered.”

Topics: Advocacy, State Legislation

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