In the proclamation, the governor notes that general aviation airports play a critical role for citizens, businesses and travelers to our state. The document continues to state that general aviation activity in Iowa involves business aviation, air medical transport, air cargo, aerial application, law enforcement, search and rescue, specialty aerial services, air charter, personal aviation and recreational opportunities.
Branstad specifically noted general aviation’s vital role in the state’s response to emergencies and natural disasters, and support of national defense, training exercises and emergency response.
Related to economic development, aviation in Iowa supports more than 47,000 jobs and has an $18 billion economic impact in the state. Iowa boasts more than 5,600 pilots, 4,000 general aviation aircraft and nearly one million annual aircraft operations. Many communities in Iowa depend heavily on general aviation and local airports for the continued flow of commerce and visitors to our state.
Iowa has 108 public-owned airports serving as the on-ramp to the national air transportation system and front door to the communities they serve. The state is also home to 69 fixed-based operators, which provide support services to general aviation operators at public-use airports; 24 charter flight companies; and 35 certified repair stations.