Polis presser

Gov. Jared Polis speaks to reporters about the coronavirus pandemic response on Friday, April 17, 2020.

Look, up in the sky: Gov. Jared Polis has declared October, General Aviation Month to honor the planes, the industry and the communities they serve.

The Colorado Aviation Business Association announced the designation Wednesday.

Polis laid out his reasons for the recognition in his proclamation, obtained first by Colorado Politics:

  • Colorado is home to 74 public use airports, which serve 20,514 pilots and 6,737 general aviation aircraft.
  • Colorado’s community airports, not including Denver International Airport, contribute $10.7 billion to the state’s economy yearly.
  • General aviation plays a vital role in the state’s response to emergencies, and the state’s continued response to the COVID-19 global pandemic and wildfires.
  • General aviation and community airports in Colorado, not including Denver International Airport, support 72,027 jobs and a payroll of nearly $3.8 billion.
  • Colorado is home to 33 charter flight companies, 80 repair stations, 4,144 flight instructors, 5,650 student pilots and 11 FAA Part 141 flight schools. In addition, there are 70 fixed-based operators and 447 heliports.

"Colorado depends on general aviation and community airports for the continued flow of commerce, tourists, and visitors to our communities," the proclamation states.

He cited the organizations that make it happen, including the Colorado Aeronautical Board, Colorado Division of Aeronautics, Colorado Aviation Business Association, National Association of State Aviation Officials, Colorado Airport Operators Association, Colorado Pilots Association, Colorado Aerial Applicators Association, National Air Transport Association, National Business Aviation Association and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

“We are thankful to Governor Polis for his recognition of the many contributions that general and business aviation make to our state,” said CABA Board chairman Chris Swathwood said in a statement Wednesday. “General and business aviation, local airports, and supporting businesses provide a tremendous economic benefit to our communities, and a unique and unparalleled resource in times of emergency.”

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