In a recent letter to Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, several members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation urged her to advocate for adequate funding for aviation programs in Minnesota in the administration’s 2018 budget, saying local, public-use airports were vital to state residents, as well as businesses.
Pilot, flight school chief pilot and airline captain Lynn Houston decided six years ago that it was time to give back to young people searching for a better future by using aviation as a launching pad. Based at California’s Santa Barbara Airport (SBA), she founded A Different Point of View in 2011 in hopes of encouraging young people to see a future in aviation. “The future of aviation depends on introducing the next generation to the opportunities they might not otherwise experience,” said Houston.
When NBAA’s six regional representatives are on the road, the No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign’s many resources provide key talking points to highlight the value business aviation brings to all regions of the country. “Face-to-face interaction is what business aviation is all about,” said Stacy Howard, NBAA’s Western regional representative. “Meeting personally with elected officials, policymakers and business leaders provides an important conduit for communication.”
The governors of Florida and Missouri, as well as local officials in these states and others, recognized general aviation, including business aviation, for the benefits it brings to their towns, cities and states. To date, hundreds of local and state officials in all 50 states have issued similar proclamations.
The No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign is figuring large in the Santa Monica Airport Association’s (SMAA) role in the battle to save the historic Santa Monica Municipal Airport from closure. The FAA and the city of Santa Monica entered into an agreement that only requires the city to operate the airport through 2028, and permits the immediate reduction of the runway from which would make it difficult for most business aircraft to use. As part of its outreach efforts, SMAA is distributing No Plane No Gain pins to political leaders and other constituents. “Business aviation is one very big important part of our campaign to develop awareness of the airport and its value to the community,” said SMAA Vice President Dave Hopkins.
Plans to build a general aviation airport in Oak Ridge, TN are moving forward, with the hope that such a facility will attract business to the area, as well as create jobs. “Airports have proven that they create jobs, grow economies and stimulate prosperity,” said Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority (MKAA) President Bill Marrison. MKAA said the Oak Ridge airport could be open and operating by the end of 2021.
Want to let your social media followers know about the value business aviation brings to companies and communities around the country? The No Plane No Gain “Business Aviation Works” initiative is the best way to get the message out, according to NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “Tweet about how great it is to be a part of business aviation, about how this industry is doing good things for companies and communities in our country,” Bolen said. “Let’s let people know about how valuable our industry is.”
Training aviation technicians to meet industry demand is most effective when hands-on work reinforces the knowledge on the system that was introduced in the classroom. Acquiring training tools that embody the systems found on today’s turbine-powered business aircraft is an economic challenge Alabama’s Enterprise State Community College met when it bought three U.S. Army C-12s – at much below market value – for its Alabama Aviation Center main facility at Ozark, AL.
The Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) recently announced two new tenants at the Cape May Airport (WWD) Industrial Park in Lower Township, NJ, further strengthening the value of the non-towered facility to the local community. “Local interest and business activity continues to exceed our expectations, as both the county and DRBA invest in the development of the Cape May Airport,” said Victor Ferzetti, chief financial officer for the DRBA.