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General Aviation Continues to be Major Contributor to U.S. Economy: Study

GA supports 1.1 million jobs and $219 billion in economic output

February 11, 2015 – Eight general aviation associations unveiled a new industry-wide study detailing the economic contributions of general aviation to the U.S. economy today at a press conference at the Newseum. The study, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, determined that general aviation supports 1.1 million total jobs and supplies $219 billion in total economic output in the United States. These numbers include direct, indirect, induced, and enabled impacts.

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA), Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), Helicopter Association International (HAI), National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), National Air Transportation Association (NATA), and National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) funded the study, which determined the industry’s economic impact based on data from 2013, the most recent year available.

In addition, the associations produced a narrative report, "The Wide Wings and Rotors of General Aviation," which captures some of the stories behind the industry's significant economic and community impact throughout the United States. The PricewaterhouseCoopers study and narrative report are available on GAMA's Web site at

GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce said, "This important new study confirms our industry's strength and resilience. It clearly shows that general aviation positively affects economies and communities in all 50 U.S. states. Our industry-wide workforce provides the lift for our wings and rotors, and these high-quality, good-paying jobs have a tremendous impact on the U.S. economy."

"This industry study provides solid evidence of the continuing importance of general aviation to our nation's economy," said Mark Baker, President and CEO of AOPA. "When we create an environment that supports general aviation activity, we create jobs, grow the economy, and enhance the freedom to fly within our national transportation system."

Ed Bolen, NBAA President and CEO, said, "This study highlights a very important reality, and one that is often overlooked: General aviation plays a central role in our nation's economy and transportation system, and provides an essential service to citizens, companies and communities across America. The report will be highly valuable in our ongoing work to educate policymakers and opinion leaders about the size and significance of general aviation in America today, and NBAA is proud to partner with GAMA in producing it."

"On behalf of the thousands of avionics professionals the Aircraft Electronics Association represents, this economic impact study is testimony to the hard work and dedication of American workers who design, engineer, manufacture, and maintain products to ensure aviation is continually more efficient, valuable to our communities and safer in our skies," said Paula Derks, President of AEA. "By providing thousands of high-wage jobs in all 50 states and billions of dollars in economic output, it's no surprise general aviation is one of the strongest contributors to the nation's balance of trade."

NATA President and CEO Thomas L. Hendricks added, "NATA, as the voice of aviation business, is pleased to participate in this effort to quantify the impact of our industry on the economy. Studies like these are invaluable to our efforts to demonstrate to policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels the impact of general aviation to communities. Our membership uses these tools nationwide to support initiatives that grow jobs and commerce."

"While many people may equate general aviation with only business aviation, there is so much more to it," said Jack J. Pelton, Chairman of the Board for EAA. "Cities, counties, and states all have local grassroots businesses that rely on general and recreational aviation for their livelihoods, so the potential of this economic benefit should be welcomed and nurtured by civic leaders and citizens alike."

Greg Principato, President and CEO of NASAO, noted, "When state leaders work to attract and promote economic development, one of the first questions always concerns aviation links. Having a strong system of general aviation airports is critical to the efforts of state and local leaders to promote economic growth. This study quantifies what we all know to be true."

"The helicopter sector of general aviation is vital not only to the nation's economy, but to the greater good of society as well," added HAI President and CEO Matthew S. Zuccaro. "Not only do helicopter operators play a vital role in keeping electricity, petroleum, and natural gas flowing, air ambulance, police, and fire helicopters protect our communities and speed the critically ill or injured to life-saving medical treatment."

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