COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – Governor Henry McMaster declared August 15 through 22 “SC Aviation Week,” to recognize the contributions of the industry to the state economy.
According to the Alliance for Aviation Across America (AAAA), contributions to the state economy by general aviation airports exceed $1 billion annually.
Mark Baker, president of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, explained:
“General aviation and our network of local airports in SC support more than 5,800 jobs; they serve as the training ground for the next generation of pilots, and connect communities with the critical resources and services they need.”
The 58 publicly-owned airports across the state have been integral in the COVID-19 response. Members of the aviation community have “flown test samples, results, supplies, and patients to labs and facilities throughout the region.”
Despite its vital role, the aviation industry has taken a severe blow amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The AAAA reports that “business aviation operations were down by more than 30% in the first six months of 2020, when compared to the first six months of 2019.”