Press Releases
Governor Noem Declares October as General Aviation Appreciation Month in South Dakota
October 29, 2021
  • Share
  • Washington, DC – Today, national general aviation organizations applauded South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem for signing a proclamation designating October as “General Aviation Appreciation Month.” According to the “South Dakota State Aviation System Plan 2010-2030,” general aviation contributes over $791 million annually to the state’s total economic output.

    “In South Dakota, general aviation and our network of airports support businesses, towns, cities, and farms across the state and country,” said Selena Shilad, executive director of the Alliance for Aviation Across America. “We thank Governor Noem for signing this proclamation and recognizing the importance of general aviation.”

    Mark Baker, President and CEO of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, said, “As the largest general aviation association representing pilots across the world, with thousands of members in South Dakota, we appreciate Governor Noem’s work to highlight the economic contributions the industry makes in her state and across the country.”

    “General aviation, which includes business aviation, is an important resource that helps drive South Dakota’s economy,” said Ed Bolen, President and CEO of the National Business Aviation Association. “We appreciate the Governor’s proclamation, which highlights this important part of our infrastructure.”

    Jim Viola, President and CEO of Helicopter Association International, said, “General aviation aircraft, including helicopters, play a vital role in supporting businesses. With 34 heliports throughout the state, helicopters will continue to play its valuable role in supporting local communities and our national economy.”

    “General aviation and local airport tenants generate over $251 million in annual payroll in Indiana, support highly-skilled, well-paying jobs, provide essential services, and advance growth throughout various industries,” said Tim Obitts, President and CEO of the National Air Transportation Association. “Proclamations like this are valuable to highlighting the importance of general aviation in elevating communities across the nation.”

    Greg Pecoraro, President and CEO of the National Association of State Aviation Officials, said, “It is vital we continue to support the 71 public-use airports that are located throughout the Mount Rushmore State. These airports support businesses, agriculture, food production, law enforcement, and disaster relief efforts. We thank the Program Manager of the South Dakota Department of Transportation’s Office of Air, Rail & Transit, Jack Dokken, for supporting this proclamation.”

    Jack Pelton, CEO of the Experimental Aircraft Association, said, “South Dakota is home to three EAA chapters. As our nation faces a critical pilot shortage in the coming decades, it is more important than ever to support youth programs and train the next generation of pilots.  We thank Governor Noem for issuing this proclamation, which will help to raise enthusiasm among young aviators and build our future workforce.”

    You can see the proclamation here.

    Formed in 2007, the Alliance for Aviation Across America is a non-profit, non-partisan coalition of over 6,300 individuals representing businesses, agricultural groups, FBO’s, small airports, elected officials, charitable organizations, and leading business and aviation groups that support the interests of the general aviation community across various public policy issues.