As pilots and aircraft owners, all of us are acutely aware of the benefits of general aviation, not just to us, but to our local communities, our states and our nation. And as we all know, we do exceedingly well at talking with each other about these benefits, but what about the larger non-flying public? How do we help them understand how important aviation is?
Many of us are familiar with statewide aviation appreciation proclamations or resolutions, formal actions taken by officials acknowledging the importance of aviation in their state, typically signed by a state’s Governor. Each year, more Governors issue these proclamations, and through mid-June, nineteen Governors have issued such proclamations, five more than at the same time last year.
Even more notable, however, is the proliferation of such aviation appreciation proclamations and resolutions at the local level, where we all know garnering support for our community airports can oftentimes be challenging. So far in 2014, the AOPA-supported Alliance for Aviation Across America reports that 62 cities, counties and townships have issued aviation appreciation proclamations or resolutions. Many times these proclamations come with great media coverage, which can of substantial value to aviation in local communties, making them valuble tools for promotiing your airport.
So as you and your fellow aviators work to educate your local community and non-flying public about the value of aviation and your airport, consider promoting a local aviation appreciation proclamation or resolution as an effective, no-cost way to accomplish that. The links above provide some great examples, and when it comes to such proclamations, there is no pride in authorship- all can be easily tailored to reflect the unique character of your community.
So if your local elected officials have not officially recognized the importance of aviation in your community, get out there and get one done! And be sure to send a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org if you do!