By Edward Beauvais
Aviation contributes $38 billion yearly to the Arizona economy. More than 470,000 Arizona jobs are related directly or indirectly to aviation. The annual payroll totals $14.7 billion. Arizona’s aviation jobs include employment at the state’s airports, on-airport businesses, aerospace manufacturers, aviation training and education programs, the tourism industry, and military bases.
There are 83 public use airports in Arizona, including 11 privately owned and 14 Native American owned airports. Due to Arizona’s location in the extreme southwest corner of the U.S., Arizona’s economy relies heavily on the efficiency of the aviation industry. Due to
the exceptionally good weather conditions, aviation training in Arizona puts it at the top of the world’s rankings for this type of activity. Arizona has the best flying weather in the world. The cost of this condition for Arizona is Zero. You could say that Arizona’s major aviation industry enjoys a PRICELESS competitive position when compared to the other areas in the world that need aviation. Also, it is a gift that just keeps on giving.
The overall assessment by many experts in the aviation industry, is that Arizona is short on its aviation capacity. The State can and should support significant expansion of its airport capacity. Total aircraft operations are estimated to grow from 4.84 million annually to 7.32 million by 2030.
The State’s legislature seems to take the aviation industry for granted. Arizona’s Aeronautics Division of the Arizona Department of Transportation was one of the best state run government agencies in the U.S. However, due to severe budget conditions, the elimination the Aeronautics Division will paralyze the ability of its aviation industry to grow and improve its efficiency. This will not allow for the natural job growth to occur. Jobs are the top priority in Arizona and the U.S.
The slogan for today is, “YOU SHOULD DANCE WITH WHO BRUNG YA”