Robin Eissler, chief operating officer of JetAVIVA, recently became the first woman to receive the Texas Aviator of the Year award, largely for her work with the Patient AirLift Services (PALS) Sky Hope Disaster Relief Program. “This award isn’t given every year – only when we think someone has gone above and beyond in the field of general aviation and has done something extraordinary,” said David Fulton, aviation division director of the Texas Department of Transportation.
Massachusetts Gov. Charles Baker highlighted the importance of the industry to the commonwealth by proclaiming May as General Aviation Appreciation Month. “General aviation and community airports play a critical role in the lives of our citizens, as well as in the operation of our businesses and farms,” he wrote. “Many communities in Massachusetts depend heavily on general aviation and community airports for the continued flow of commerce, tourists and visitors to our state.”
GAMA and its aircraft and components manufacturing members are committed to educational initiatives and student development as a means of creating awareness of the industry for young people. “It’s all about how we build that future workforce and we’re very proud of what GAMA’s been able to do,” President and CEO Pete Bunce said earlier this year at the association’s annual State of the Industry event.
Flight For Life Colorado, founded in 1972 by St. Anthony Hospital, provides critical care transportation for sick or injured individuals in an eight-state area, and has transported about 130,000 patients during its 45 years of service. The program includes seven helicopters operated by Air Methods, four airplanes operated by Mayo Aviation and five ambulances. “Flight For Life brings the intensive care unit to the patient,” said Kathleen Mayer, MS RN and program director of Flight For Life.
In 2009, pilot Ted DuPuis grew concerned that a pet overpopulation epidemic in certain regions of the United States was the root cause of millions of dogs and cats being put down every year. It inspired DuPuis to found Kansas-based Cloud Nine Rescue Flights, an all-volunteer organization that gives people looking for pets more options than going to a commercial pet store, breeder or puppy mill. Since it was founded, Cloud Nine has flown more than 2,000 homeless pets to new homes.
Colorado’s Centennial Airport (APA), one of the busiest general aviation airports in the country, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and famed Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger will headline a luncheon on May 25 to mark the occasion. “This event is not so much about us, but more about the Centennial Airport Foundation, and expanding its ability to financially support more local STEM education programs, particularly those focused on aviation and aerospace,” sad Centennial Airport CEO Robert Olislagers.
General aviation, including business aviation, is a vital contributor to the economy in every state, and in April, the governors of Missouri, Utah and Rhode Island officially recognized the industry for the important role it plays. Every state, in addition to hundreds of communities throughout the United States, have highlighted general aviation over the years for its contributions to the success of companies and citizens around the country.
Contributions of the general aviation manufacturing industry to the Kansas and U.S. economies were highlighted at an April 6, 2018, GAMA jobs rally in Olathe, KS.
NetJets has increased its partnership with Corporate Angel Network by granting the organization access to its Ferry Finder software, which will help expand the number of cancer patient flights CAN arranges per month.