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State launches aviation/aerospace study

To determine economic impact of the industry in Kentucky

MOREHEAD, Ky. (March 30, 2015) — Gov. Steve Beshear today signed House Joint Resolution 100, which will study the economic impact of the aerospace/aviation industry in the commonwealth.

An antenna at the Space Science Center at Morehead State University.
An antenna at the Space Science Center at Morehead State University.

“The aviation/aerospace industry plays a significant role in Kentucky’s economy,” said Gov. Beshear. “We need to create more public awareness of this thriving industry, as well as more education and training opportunities for employment in this field. These efforts will help ensure that Kentucky develops and maintains the best workforce for aerospace, aviation and manufacturing companies seeking to locate or expand here.”

Last year, the commonwealth exported $7.8 billion in aerospace parts and products, making it the state’s largest export. Kentucky also is home to some of the top aerospace programs in the nation. Of the 98 high schools across the U.S. that teach aerospace and aviation skills, 25 are in Kentucky.

As part of their involvement, the Cabinet for Economic Development and Commission on Military Affairs will study the following:

  • The number and location of aerospace/aviation-related products manufacturing facilities in the state and the number of Kentuckians currently employed by these companies.
  • The unique needs of those manufacturers and opportunities for state and local government agencies to assist with meeting those needs.
  • The status and impact of aviation/aerospace educational and workforce training programs currently available and how they can be improved.
  • Opportunities for further growth and development of the industry.
  • Military assets and infrastructure existing in the commonwealth that may contribute to the growth and development of the commercial unmanned aerial systems industry and other sectors of the aerospace/aviation industry, including recommendations on how Kentucky can capitalize on the presence of Fort Campbell and Fort Knox to support further development.

The Transportation Cabinet will study the general aviation airport system in the commonwealth, examining various aspects of the general aviation airport network, including:

  • Inventorying and categorizing the existing facilities and infrastructure and providing suggestions for improvements to ensure that Kentucky’s general aviation airports are safe, well-maintained and efficient.
  • Documenting the contribution of the state’s network of general aviation airports to the overall well-being of all Kentuckians, in terms of the number of airports and their impact on emergency medical transportation and disaster relief.
  • Quantifying the direct economic impact general aviation airports have on their respective communities across the commonwealth.