WHEREAS, aviation is an essential part of the Alaskan way of life. Eighty-two percent of Alaska’s communities are inaccessible by road and rely heavily on aviation to provide access for commerce, transportation, emergency medical services, shipment of essential goods, and tourism; and
WHEREAS, with more pilots and aircraft per capita than anywhere else in the world, Alaskans appreciate the value and importance of aviation and the industry annually contributes $3.8 billion to Alaska’s economy and generates over 35,000 jobs; and
WHEREAS, in 2020 the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport moved a record 3.5 million tons of cargo through the airport, up 16 percent from the record set the previous year; and
WHEREAS, Alaska’s strategic location provides a power projection platform for military operations anywhere in the world and is the home of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Bryant Airfield, Ladd Army Airfield at Fort Wainwright, Eielson Air Force Base, Allen Army Airfield, and the Alaska Air National Guard. Alaska is the new home for two F-35 fighter squadrons; and
WHEREAS, Alaska has a significant and vested interest in the continued vitality of aviation, aircraft maintenance, flight schools, community airports, aviation organizations, unmannned aircraft systems, spaceport operations, and tourism across our State; and
WHEREAS, we encourage all aviators and aviation professionals to continue to adhere to the highest safety standards and practices in aviation to protect the lives of Alaskans, workers, tourists, and the traveling public in our great state; and
WHEREAS, Alaska’s unique reliance on general aviation is manifested in the expertise and commitment of our pilots and in the numerous flight-training programs dedicated to teaching the next generation of pilots. All across our Great State, our pilots and ground crews continue to keep us connected in all types of weather.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mike Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim May 2021 as:
Aviation Appreciation Month
in Alaska, and encourage everyone to recognize the importance aviation and aviation professionals play in supporting the people, economy, and livelihoods of Alaskans.