Lillian Geil AOPA
States Declare May a Month of GA
May 1, 2024
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  • Dozens of elected officials across the United States have issued formal declarations celebrating general aviation in honor of the National Celebration of General Aviation D.C. Flyover—which coincides with AOPA’s eighty-fifth anniversary.

    AOPA was founded in 1939 with the mission of protecting the freedom to fly. In the decades since, the organization has served millions of pilots through local, state, and national advocacy; charitable outreach; safety initiatives; and several publications. We focus on moving the mission forward, but the eighty-fifth anniversary of AOPA’s founding is the perfect opportunity for reflection.

    And pilots will have more than an anniversary to celebrate, as the planned National Celebration of General Aviation D.C. Flyover on May 11 will feature a parade of more than 60 GA aircraft, which will traverse the skies over the National Mall in Washington, D.C.—some of the most restricted airspace in the country.

    Elected officials in cities and states across the United States are joining the celebrations in recognition of the economic and social value GA brings to their communities. Through the issuance of formal declarations, governors, mayors, and legislators are issuing proclamations for General Aviation Month, National Celebration of GA Flyover Day, National Aviation Flyover Day, and more.

    AOPA received governor’s proclamations from Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Washington, and West Virginia.

    Arizona, California, Indiana, and Tennessee also issued legislative resolutions for the event.

    Thanks to support from the Alliance for Aviation Across America, several cities are participating through city mayoral proclamations, including Cartersville and LaGrange in Georgia; Crawfordsville, Frankfort, Greencastle, and Lafayette in Indiana; Madisonville, Murray, and Paducah in Kentucky; Sanford, Maine; Salisbury, Maryland; and Wildwood, New Jersey.

    The proclamations will be displayed at AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Maryland, on May 10 and 11—where the fleet of 60 aircraft, organized into 15 chapters of history, will take off and land for the National Celebration of General Aviation D.C. Flyover.

    Maryland Gov. Wes Moore issued one of the proclamations, touting the impact GA has on the state’s economy and stating, “General Aviation brings over $867 Million in annual economic activity and supports over 9,900 jobs to The State of Maryland.” He declared May 11 General Aviation Flyover Day and called upon Marylanders to “commemorate the extraordinary last 85 years of the general aviation industry.” In addition to Moore’s support, the Maryland Aviation Administration is the presenting sponsor of the flyover.

    “We appreciate and value the support shown by all these cities and states,” said Mike Ginter, AOPA vice president of airport and state advocacy and the air boss for the flyover. “So much of AOPA’s advocacy mission happens at the state and local level, and it is great to see these states proclaim general aviation with such a strong voice.”

    For pilots and aviation enthusiasts across the country, the best way to celebrate is by tuning into AOPA’s YouTube channel (@flywithaopa) at 11:45 a.m. Eastern time on the day of the event. After a welcome message from Moore, AOPA’s Tom Haines and noted aviation journalist Miles O’Brien will be hosting the flyover livestream—offering commentary as the aircraft fly above the Lincoln Memorial, down Independence Avenue, and past the Washington Monument.

    Host a watch party at your local airport or gather friends to witness this historic event and celebrate the history—and future—of our freedom to fly.