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October is General Aviation Appreciation Month in West Virginia

October 16, 2012, 03:55 pm

West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin recently named October General Aviation Appreciation Month in the state. General Aviation plays a significant role to the economy of West Virginia, contributing $616 million each year and playing a supporting role in medical treatment, commerce and other critical services throughout the state. After his announcement, many general aviation industry officials extended their gratitude to the governor.

Selena Shilad, executive director of the Alliance for Aviation Across America thanked Tomblin for recognizing the tremendous impact general aviation has on West Virginia. She added that local community airports and general aviation aircraft serve as pivotal resources for local communities, considering they are crucial for the survival of businesses, charities, law enforcement and hospitals.

“This is an important proclamation that recognizes the 32 public airports throughout the state, which support 1,370 general aviation aircraft and more than 2,200 pilots,” Craig Fuller, president of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. “These airports and aircraft connect communities in West Virginia to each other, facilitating medical care and disaster relief, while also connecting West Virginia with the rest of the country. We would like the thank Governor Tomblin for helping raise public awareness about the vital importance of general aviation.”

“The general aviation industry, which includes business aviation, generates $150 billion every year and supports 1.2 million jobs throughout America, and in West Virginia, the industry supports more than $600 million in economic activity,” said Ed Bolen, president and CEO of the National Business Aviation Association. “We commend the governor for signing this proclamation recognizing the benefits of business aviation for local communities in West Virginia and across the United States."

Tom Hendricks, president and CEO of the National Air Transport Association, added that general aviation aircraft help police, firefighters, emergency medical responders, search and rescue teams, non-profit organizations and natural disaster relief crews throughout the country and the state of West Virginia.

Matt Zuccaro, president of the Helicopter Association International, also thanked Tomblin for supporting the helicopter industry, which serves an essential role in supporting public safety and businesses.

Last month, General Aviation Month was celebrated in New Mexico - in line with the 100th anniversary of the state - as well as in Ohio, Oklahoma and Alaska.

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