Aviation appreciation

RBC I Governor John Hickenlooper has issued a proclamation declaring June 2011 as General Aviation Appreciation Month in order to recognize the industry for its critical role in the lives of Colorado citizens and in the operation of businesses and farms.
“Our aviation system is critical to our economy as it provides for commerce, tourism and improved health care, while employing thousands of people,” said Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) Executive Director Don Hunt. “Without the airports, our transportation system and commerce would not be as effective and efficient.”
Colorado’s aviation system is comprised of 76 airports of which 14 are commercial service airports such as Denver International Airport and 62 are general aviation airports such as most local airports. Colorado’s airports service 24,118 pilots and 8,074 general aviation aircraft. In addition, the industry sustains 22,650 jobs a year in Colorado.
To support Colorado’s aviation system, the Colorado Division of Aeronautics provides discretionary grants to the 62 general aviation airports. The aviation grant program is funded by aviation fuel taxes so over 97 percent of the revenue collected by the industry is put back into Colorado’s aviation system.
Since the inception of the Colorado Discretionary Grant Program in 1992, CDOT’s Aeronautics Division has awarded 288 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) matching grants to local governments totaling more than $19.7 million. In addition, CDOT has issued 199 grants for airfield pavement maintenance totaling $11.7 million.
In all, CDOT has awarded 737 grants totaling $45.4 million, local governments have provided $85.3 million and the FAA has provided $516.7 million for a total investment of $647.4 million to an industry that brings $2.1 billion into Colorado’s economy each year.
“The goal of our aeronautics division is to support Colorado’s general aviation community by partnering with local airports and providing funding opportunities to all airports across the state,” added Hunt. “Without the funding and support system that is in place, Colorado citizens would not be able to enjoy the many benefits that our aviation industry brings to the state. That is why it is so important for us to recognize and celebrate the importance of the aviation industry.”
To learn more about CDOT’s Aeronautics Division, visit http://www.coloradodot.info/programs/aeronautics.