Statement By NYAMA President Jeremy P. Martelle, ACE, Regarding Governor Cuomo's Upstate Airport Initiative
The Upstate Airport Initiative is another example of the Governor’s commitment to modernizing the State’s transportation system to meet the needs of the new global economy and enhance New York’s position as the Empire State. NYAMA supports the additional funding in the state budget for critical infrastructure and business development projects for airports in every region of the state.
Governor Cuomo Declares May 2015 “Aviation Appreciation Month”
NYAMA applauds New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as he celebrates the state’s airports and aviation industries and their contributions to New York State by issuing a proclamation formally declaring May 2015 Aviation Appreciation Month.
The NYAMA-backed legislative resolutions requesting the Governor's action—passed by the Assembly and Senate—were sponsored by Senator Phil Boyle and Member of the Assembly Donna Lupardo, Co-Chairs of the New York Legislative Aviation Caucus. Thank you to our legislative supporters!
2014 State Budget Round-up
With the passage of all the budget bills and with the Governor’s approval on March 31, the Legislature has now passed four on-time budgets in a row.
NYAMA sought to have included in the budget $10 million for the AIR 99 airport capital program, a fully-funded AIP state match program for the federal Airport Improvement Program and the language from the Aviation Jobs Act (AJA) legislation to exempt general aviation aircraft from the state’s sales and use taxes.
The budget does include $10 million for AIR 99 but, similar to last year, some of this funding (as much as $3 million) may be used to cover the expected shortfall in the AIP program funding level. While NYAMA agrees that the state AIP program needs to be fully funded so as to maximize the amount of federal funding available to New York, the shortfall should not be made up with the limited AIR 99 funding. NYAMA will continue our efforts to have the AIP deficit funded in a way that will not reduce the AIR 99 appropriation this year. NYAMA seeks to address this underfunded AIP issue and the establishment of a permanent, more robust state airport development capital program in the next 5-year transportation capital plan to be released by NYSDOT in a few months.
The AJA tax exemption language did not make it into the final budget despite being included in the Senate’s one-house budget bill and the strong push by NYAMA in the Assembly and with the Governor’s office. NYAMA will continue to pursue the legislation, S.273-B (Larkin)/A.3677-B (Lupardo), which the Senate is expected to pass again prior to the scheduled June 19 end of the 2014 session.
Thank you to everyone who came to Albany to support NYAMA's Advocacy Day! Be sure to watch our weekly e-currents newsletter and nyama.com in the coming weeks for additional ways you can help the aviation industry in New York State!
NY Legislative Aviation Caucus Tops 100 Members!
The New York Legislative Aviation Caucus, established by Senate and Assembly members in early 2010, now has 100 members! This represents over 47% of the entire State Legislature.
The Caucus is being promoted by the New York Aviation Management Association (NYAMA), the statewide organization of airports and aviation industry professionals, as a way to organize state legislators interested in further developing New York's aviation assets.
"The willingness of so many of my colleagues to join the Legislative Aviation Caucus illustrates the recognition among lawmakers of the importance of airports and the aviation industry to the State's efforts to create jobs and attract private investment," said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, the Co-Chair of the Caucus.
The members of the New York Legislative Aviation Caucus work together with industry leaders like NYAMA and its affiliate members, such as the National Business Aviation Association and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, to make certain elected officials and policymakers understand the critical role aviation plays in their communities.
Assemblyman Steven McLaughlin, a former commercial pilot, was instrumental in securing Caucus membership among his fellow Assembly colleagues. His efforts helped put Caucus membership over the 100 mark.
"As a pilot for many years, I know firsthand how important the aviation and related industries are to the growth and development of a thriving New York state economy," Assemblyman McLaughlin said. "I told my colleagues that it was important for them to join with like-motivated legislators in establishing a pro-growth, pro-job agenda centered on our state's aviation industry."
"Every type of aviation stakeholder in New York supports the Caucus," said Carl Beardsley, manager of Greater Binghamton Airport and President of NYAMA. "From GA reliever airports to commercial airlines to maintenance and engineering companies to company flight departments, the aviation community is a broad spectrum--and it's all about jobs."
While neighboring states such as Massachusetts and Connecticut have tax policies designed to attract general aviation (GA) aircraft, New York imposes a sales and use tax on all GA airplanes that has the effect of discouraging the basing of these aircraft in New York in favor of surrounding states.
"We have an aviation sector in this state that is incredibly productive," said state Senator William Larkin, the Caucus' other Co-Chair. "However, this sector continues to perform well short of its potential because of a competitive disadvantage with neighboring states."
Beardsley is optimistic that together, the caucus and the aviation community will be successful in drawing more business aircraft to New York through tax reform and better airports, if they're persistent. "The Caucus promises to be the catalyst for advancing aviation in New York," Beardsley concluded.
For a full list of all caucus members, click below.