Hub, regional, GA, etc. Airports are increasingly subject to attack
Need our support–RESOLUTION 2022
NASAO, AOPA AIRPORT SUPPORT NETWORK
It is the end of 2021 and thus time for a NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION for 2022. The below article about the Governor’s and his Secretary of Transportation’s issuance their Illinois Aviation Economic Impact Analysis. That event serves as a great remembrancer of aviation’s collective need to protect and defend our vital airport infrastructure. Without these nodes of commerce, no airline travel, no air freight flights, no time critical air movement for medical reasons and no GA. People who choose to live away from major airfields depend on these facilities to connect to regional, national and international economies.
Those who help aviation to operate safely and successfully need to make Advocating Airports on your 2022 list of Resolutions. What can/should be done?
- On a most basic level, familiarize your self with all of the value added by aviation on national and local levels. Also understand the arguments airport opponents.
- Don’t be bashful, when confronted by someone who attacks airports, to respond with thoughtful, fact list. Individual ignorance and individual internet “FACTS” tend to grow unless addressed
- Similarly, be aware of local media articulation of positions to harm your business. Yes, there are talented professional publicists ( Alliance for Aviation Across America) who are poised to roll out well-constructed replies, but your signature will be recognized by local politicians as a voting constituent.
- NASAO, which represents the public interest in all facets of aviation and airports, houses an incredible compendium of state aviation economic impact statements. READ YOUR’S!!!
- Perhaps the most potent way to support a 2022 Airport Advocacy Resolution is the volunteer to join the AOPA Airport Support Network. ASN is a network of committed aviators to respond to curfews, noise restrictions, lack of improvements, residential encroachment, and even calls to close the airport. It is an organized campaign for preventative and responsive actions like–
- Be a liaison to local pilots and/or local pilot groups, airport management, etc. at the airport.
- Monitor and report to AOPA on city and county (sponsor) meetings and notify AOPA of pending problems that may arise.
- Notify AOPA of any questionable operational restrictions (curfews, noise abatement procedures).
- Assist in direct/indirect promotion of local airport activity to enhance favorable image of airport (i.e., open houses, airport support groups, and more).
- Help educate local officials and community neighbors about the value of their airport.
- Provide local newspaper clips and media alerts on airport issues to AOPA Airport Support Network staff.
You already have a busy personal and business commitments. There may not be enough time to add another task. Some of what is suggested is merely awareness of your business and a willingness to speak up. More than that depends on your sense of urgency of attacks on airports.
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation today announced the results of a new study showing that Illinois airports contribute $95.5 billion and more than 490,000 jobs to the state’s economy, reinforcing the importance of aviation on the state’s multimodal transportation system to promote mobility, supply chain movement, job creation and local quality of life. Designed to better understand and quantify the aviation system’s impact on the state, the 2020 Illinois Aviation Economic Impact Analysis is the first report of its kind released by IDOT since 2012 and comes as Gov. JB Pritzker is overseeing historic improvements to airports through the Rebuild Illinois capital program.
“Aviation is a pillar of our state. Its importance to our economy cannot be overstated,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “Illinois airports serve as a gateway to the economy through passenger, cargo, and general aviation services, as well as employment opportunities. Under Gov. Pritzker, IDOT is committed to strengthening our aviation system to better connect Illinois to national and international economies far and wide.”
The 2020 Illinois Aviation Economic Impact Analysis found that of the $95.5 billion contributed to the Illinois economy by airports in 2019, $21.1 billion came from visitor spending, $35.9 billion related to the shipment of cargo, and $38.4 billion resulted from direct impacts, including $32.5 billion in income to help support 492,768 jobs.
The report analyzed 85 public-use airport facilities – 81 public and four private airports. Data was used to measure the economic impact at each individual airport, as well as each IDOT region and at the statewide level.
Early next year, IDOT is expected to release the first Illinois Aviation System Plan in more than two decades. The plan will help identify short- and long-term needs of individual airports and the aviation system as a whole, with the goal of continuing to support economies throughout the state, improve quality of life and boost mobility.
By demonstrating the aviation system’s significance to the state economy, the 2020 Illinois Aviation Economic Impact Analysis reinforces the value of proactively addressing airport and aviation system needs. This data not only brings home the importance of investing in the state’s aviation resources, but also helps Illinois airports position themselves for incoming federal investment through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
Earlier this month, Gov. Pritzker announced that $94 million had been awarded to improve public airports through the historic, bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital program, which identifies a total of $150 million to invest in aviation. The $94 million unlocks $11.5 million in local contributions for a combined investment of $105 million. The funding represents the largest statewide capital investment program for airports in state history, highlighting the governor’s ongoing commitment to the role of aviation in the Illinois economy.
For more information on the Illinois Aviation Economic Impact Analysis, including the executive summary and informational snapshots on participating airports, please visit www.ILaviation.com.
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