Adding to the more than 40 state governors signing proclamations recognizing the value of aviation and aerospace in their respective states, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee both signed proclamations drawing attention to the aviation and aerospace industry.
In Rhode Island, home to more than 1,000 pilots, Chaffee declared the month of August “Rhode Island General Aviation Appreciation Month.” According to the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, general aviation directly supports over 1,400 jobs in the state, contributing $465 million to the state’s economy.
In Oklahoma, the proclamation declares August “Aviation and Aerospace Appreciation Month.” Signed by Fallin, the proclamation highlights the important role of general aviation and local airports in supporting business, ranches and farms, and medical services, as well as the overall economy. In Oklahoma, the general aviation industry generates $1.2 billion annually in total economic impact, while the aviation and aerospace industry as a whole supports over 115,000 jobs.
“Here in the United States, our vast network of airports plays an essential role in sustaining local jobs and serves as a lifeline to many local communities, including those in Rhode Island,” stated Henry Ogrodzinski, President of the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO). “We welcome this proclamation and look forward to working with Governor Chafee on issues relating to aviation in Rhode Island.”
Selena Shilad, Executive Director of the Alliance for Aviation Across America (AAAA) thanked both Chafee and Fallin for joining the long list of Governors who have recognized the importance of general aviation. “General aviation and local airports have tremendous value, serving as a critical lifeline for businesses, charities, medical organizations, law enforcement and other crucial services across the country." Shilad also thanked the Rhode Island Pilots Association and the Westerly Airport Association for their support.
With 139 public-use airports in the state of Oklahoma, Ogrodzinski said businesses, medical care providers, law enforcement and organizations across the state can access other markets and resources in other regions of the country quickly and efficiently. "We look forward to working with Governor Fallin and Victor Bird, Director of the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission on issues concerning airports and general aviation."
“I am proud to join pilots, businesses and airports in recognizing the tremendous impact of commercial and general aviation on our State,” Governor Fallin commented. “For many Oklahoma communities, general aviation in particular is an economic driver, and supports jobs, businesses and vital services throughout our state. I am proud to join other Governors around the nation in recognizing this vital form of transportation.”