King City Mayor Mike LeBarre

KING CITY — Alliance for Aviation Across America has commended King City Mayor Mike LeBarre for proclaiming March as “General Aviation Appreciation Month.”

In California, general aviation airports support an annual economic impact of more than $32.7 billion, along with 148,000 jobs and a total payroll of $11.3 billion.

“Mayor LeBarre’s proclamation helps highlight the economic benefits and valuable service that general aviation provides to King City,” says Selena Shilad, executive director of the Alliance for Aviation Across America. “We sincerely thank the mayor and the city for recognizing this vital industry.”

LeBarre’s proclamation not only cites the economic impact of general aviation and local airports like the Mesa Del Rey Airport in King City, but also the importance of investing in this infrastructure to encourage enthusiasm in flying and grow the next generation of pilots and aviation professionals, as well as to encourage future growth through investments in sustainability.

“King City in the state of California has a significant interest in the continued vitality of general aviation, aircraft manufacturing, aviation educational institutions, aviation organizations and community airports,” the proclamation states.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), California is home to 214 public-use airports serving general aviation, with nearly 69,000 pilots and 25,000 registered aircraft. The state also has 555 repair stations, 65 FAA-approved pilot schools and more than 25,000 student pilots and 10,000 flight instructors.

“General aviation not only supports California’s economy, it improves overall quality of life by supporting emergency medical and healthcare services, law enforcement, firefighting and disaster relief, investments in sustainable fuels and technologies, and investments in innovative experimental technology like Vertical Takeoff and Landing vehicles, and by transporting business travelers to their destinations quickly and safely,” LeBarre states in the proclamation.

He adds that the United States is facing a shortage of aviation professionals.

“Leaders should invest in this critical infrastructure to ensure future economic growth and our next generation of aviation professionals and pilots,” LeBarre concludes.

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Ryan Cronk is the managing editor for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for South Monterey County and the surrounding communities.


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