Recently, the National Air Transportation Association’s (NATA) “General Aviation Advancing America” initiative took flight, landing at seven total regional airports throughout Colorado. NATA Senior Vice President Ryan Waguespack led focus groups with essential community and aviation stakeholders in Loveland, Longmont, Salida, and Meadow Lake to discuss how rural airports serve as a runway for economic development, job recovery, and emergency response.
The economic impact of regional airports throughout Colorado is significant. Combined, the four named airports (Northern Colorado Regional Airport, Vance Brand Airport, Harriett Alexander Field Airport, and Meadow Lake Airport), along with their respective tenants, create 1,879 jobs and disperse more than $143M in annual revenue to their local communities.
“The General Aviation Advancing America gatherings are designed to encourage open dialogue among a focused group of key participants on how general aviation stakeholders facilitate the success of the community. Additionally, this platform provides forums for collaborating on how we can best support and promote the significant, meaningful contributions the airport and its tenant businesses provide,” stated NATA Senior Vice President Ryan Waguespack.
“I am pleased to witness the outpouring of support for NATA’s initiative, General Aviation Advancing America, we are receiving from members and communities throughout the country,” added NATA President and CEO Timothy Obitts. “These essential businesses all have great stories and we are honored to serve as their national voice in making sure they are heard.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic and the recent wildfires have further highlighted the importance of general aviation. We are fortunate to have a strong, diverse, and resilient general aviation community in Northern Colorado and the Airport is home to many great businesses that support a wide variety of essential services and activities,” said Aaron M. Ehle, Planning & Business Development Specialist at the Northern Colorado Regional Airport.
“The Greeley-Weld County Airport is one of the best-situated airports in the area for both operational capabilities (two runways, 99% wind coverage component) and easy access to several metro areas (1hr to Denver metro, 45 minutes to Fort Collins metro). The airport users benefit from the lowest lease rates in the region, competitive tax rates, and management that welcomes all types of development. The airport is self-sustaining and works to diversify income streams through energy development, non-aeronautical leases, and several other avenues to fund projects and keep costs down for its aeronautical users,” stated Cooper Anderson, C.M., Airport Director at the Greeley-Weld County Airport. “The City of Greeley and Weld County both work with the airport to continue the progress that has been made and consider the airport as an asset to the community. The airport has seen significant growth in the past 5 years and is on the cusp of its next great expansion. You will hear many airport tenants call Greeley-Weld Airport “the hidden gem of Northern Colorado” and it’s easy to see why when you see what we have going on out here.”
NATA’s General Aviation Advancing America may be landing at an airport near you, please check bit.ly/2020GAAA for upcoming events. If you are interested in hosting at your airport, please contact Ryan Waguespack at firstname.lastname@example.org.