PHOENIX – Number of jobs: 409,000.
Annual state and local tax revenue: $3 billion.
Total economic impact each year: $58 billion.
Those were some of the numbers that representatives of Arizona’s aviation industry wanted state legislators to take away from Tuesday’s eighth annual Arizona Aviation Day.
Jennifer Maples, the event’s chairwoman and a past president of the Arizona Airports Association, said the
reach of aviation extends from airports to companies making aircraft parts – even to the “toilet paper that’s stocked in an airport restroom.”
“It’s a pretty significant economic engine,” Maples said. “And then the communities that build up around airports, they grow, they thrive and they create a significant number of jobs.”
Three helicopters lined the street in front of the Capitol and a hot air balloon basket shot flames into the air as lawmakers and other attendees mingled around displays on the lawn.
House Speaker Andy Tobin, R-Paulden, former CEO of an aerospace manufacturing company in Prescott, said aviation is a huge and growing industry in Arizona.
“If folks don’t realize the economic impact that all these different pieces of the economy have with each other, it’s hard for them to get the big view,” he said.
Organizers released a report saying that 16.8 percent of Arizona’s jobs are connected directly or indirectly to aviation, with a total payroll of $21.1 billion. The economic impact includes money spent by the 45.2 million passengers traveling to or through Arizona’s 83 airports, the report said.
Dee Anne Thomas, marketing and communications specialist at Mesa’s Falcon Field, said that state funding plays a large role in her airport’s ability to operate.
“Falcon Field does rely heavily on grants that we receive through the Arizona Department of Transportation for maintaining our infrastructure, which is vital to the safety of the airport and our ability to carry our business,” she said.
David Gaines, airport director of Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport in Bullhead City, said that over the years the event has helped raise awareness at the Capitol about the value of aviation to Arizona.
“I think in the last probably five to six years, we’ve had a very, very good program to educate our legislators so that we don’t have a lot of the problems we had eight, 10 years ago where aviation funds were being diverted for other uses,” he said.
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.