The governor's proclamation was informed by the 2012 Washington Aviation Economic Impact study, recently completed by the Washington State Department of Transportation Aviation division. The study helped highlight the critical role general aviation and community airports play in the lives of Washington state's citizens and its economy.
"We are thrilled that general aviation is receiving this kind of focus," said Tristan Atkins, WSDOT aviation director. "We hope people are able to celebrate this month by visiting some of our state's beautiful and diverse airports."
The proclamation highlights how general aviation, aerospace, aircraft manufacturing and other aviation activities contribute to Washington's economic health and vitality:
Washington is home to 135 public use airports serving over 20,000 pilots and more than 7,500 general aviation aircraft.
Public use airports support 248,500 jobs, $15.3 billion in wages, and $50.9 billion in total economic activity.
General aviation plays a vital role in the state's response to emergencies and natural disasters, and many communities depend on it for the continued flow of commerce and tourists.
Washington is home to 59 charter flight companies, 116 repair stations, and 24 flight schools operating 181 aircraft and providing 360 jobs. In addition there are 64 fixed-based operators in the state.
The initiative to designate June as "General Aviation Appreciation Month" was spearheaded by the Alliance for Aviation Across America and supported by the Washington Airport Management Association (WAMA), Washington Pilots Association and by several aviation organizations in the state. WSDOT Aviation Director, Tristan Atkins, announced the proclamation at a recent WAMA conference.