ANCORAGE, AK, September 17, 2012 - Over a hundred pilots, aviation enthusiasts and state and local officials gathered today in Anchorage for a Celebration of General Aviation in Alaska.
The event, held at Signature Flight Support, was organized by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) with support from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), National Air Transport Association, (NATA), and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA).
Attendees represented individuals who use aviation to conduct business in the state as well as private pilots, aviation enthusiasts, air cargo haulers, representatives of the tourism industry, aviation mechanics in training and others who are connected to general aviation (GA) in Alaska. State and local public officials were also on hand to interact with the many users who rely on GA to access primary and specialized health care services and to access the various small and remote communities not connected by roads. A wide variety of GA aircraft were also on display.
Senator Mark Begich and DOT Commissioner Marc Luiken recognized general aviation's tremendous impact as a provider of vital services to Alaska's rural communities as each spoke to the crowd.
"Over 80 percent of Alaska communities have no road access and rely on general aviation as the only reliable means of year-round transportation," said Senator Mark Begich. "I'm thrilled to join aviation leaders from around the country to celebrate the important role general aviation plays in the everyday life of Alaskans."
"General aviation is woven into the fabric of this state like no other, and we are fortunate to have a state Congressional delegation that is passionate about preserving, protecting and promoting General Aviation," said GAMA's President and CEO Pete Bunce. "We are grateful for strong leaders like Senator Mark Begich and Commissioner Marc Luiken who proudly proclaim the vital role that general aviation plays in Alaska."
GAMA is an international trade association representing over 75 of the world's leading manufacturers of general aviation airplanes and rotorcraft, engines, avionics, components and related services. GAMA's members also operate repair stations, fixed based operations, pilot and maintenance training facilities and they manage fleets of aircraft. GAMA fosters and advances the welfare, safety, and interests of general aviation by working with governments and the industry to promote a better understanding of the important role general aviation plays worldwide in economic growth and development. GAMA is headquartered in Washington, DC, with a European office in Brussels, Belgium. For additional information, visit GAMA's website at www.GAMA.aero.