Economic Value of General Aviation Airports extolled by Salt Lake City Mayor

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Generally speaking, there is a yin and yang relationship between airports and their owners/neighbors. The yáng or “sunny side” is the economic machine which these aviation assets provide, but the yīn or “shady side” is the noise it generates. All too often politicians give greater weight of the yin than the yang. Not so with Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, who declared March as Aviation Appreciation Month. Other political leaders should follow suit.

Clearly the Salt Lake City International Airport is the largest aviation driver of Utah’s capital, but a report from the Utah Department of Transportation and the Alliance for Aviation Across America demonstrates that the two nearby general aviation airports (see above) provide more than $274 million in economic impact annually and employ about 3,600 people.

Quotes in the article how this system of reliever airports diverts traffic from SLC (the slower aircraft would decrease the efficiency of that major commercial hub), provide good airfields for medical flights, facilitates business and recreational travel from these pilots, provides great facilities for training and obviously are bases for good paying jobs. Without the publicity generated by Mayor Becker’s declaration of Aviation Appreciation Month, the general public in the area would be ignorant of such contributions and predisposed to proposals negative attacks on the shady side .

The Mayor should be commended for his emphasis of the sunny side of aviation; such good news is often drowned out by the anti-airport noise.

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