WV Governor Declares January General Aviation Appreciation Month

Flanked by industry leaders and advocacy organizations, West Virginia’s Governor Joe Manchin III recently signed a proclamation outlining the importance of the general aviation industry to West Virginia’s statewide economy.

“Like the rest of the country, the general aviation industry has been hit hard by the slow economy.  During times like these we must recognize the significant economic impact general aviation has in not only the state of West Virginia, but our entire country,” said Governor Manchin.

“General aviation provides a lifeline for residents of small communities around the country.  Small

businesses, farmers, mining companies, medical personnel, and charities of all sizes rely on general aviation to keep their doors open.  With thousands of West Virginians relying on general aviation each day, we must do all we can to support and build this vital resource,” said Selena Shilad, Executive Director for the Alliance for Aviation Across America.

General aviation (GA) industries, including aircraft manufacturing, are fundamental to West Virginia’s economy. GA alone contributes $616 million to West Virginia’s economy annually. According to the West Virginia Development Office, “aerospace employment increased by nearly 600 jobs between 2000 and 2005, making it one of the fastest-growing sectors of the West Virginia economy.”  Bombardier Aerospace, Aurora Flight Sciences, Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney, and Tiger Aircraft have manufacturing and repair facilities in the state. Total direct and indirect jobs attributed to the local aerospace industry total about 3,200, providing a direct wage and benefit impact of about $46 million. These and other statistics from our newly launched economic impact survey can be found online at http://www.aviationacrossamerica.org/States.aspx.