News Releases

March 07, 2008

Governor Promotes Aviation Industry & Economic Growth Initiatives

Burlington, Vt. -- Governor Jim Douglas today highlighted the importance of targeted investments in economic growth, congratulated a Vermont aviation firm for landing a $6.2 million aircraft maintenance contract and urged lawmakers to make permanent a tax exemption on aircraft parts to encourage additional job creation in this economic sector.

At a tour of Aviatron, Inc., Governor Douglas said the aerospace and aviation industries are key contributors to Vermont’s economy.

“Smart Skies, an airline industry trade group, estimates that commercial aviation in Vermont impacts some 27,268 jobs and helps generate nearly $2 billion in economic activity,” the Governor said. “Estimates by the Aerospace Industries Association and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association place the economic impact of general aviation to Vermont at $321 million.”

The tourism industry also benefits from the access that Burlington International Airport grants to visitors worldwide, the Governor added. In 2007, more than 703,000 passengers landed in Burlington – up from 687,000 in 2006 and 453,000 in 2000. And last year, there were 707,395 passengers who flew out of Burlington – up from just under 700,000 in 2006 and 451,000 in 2000.

Last year, Lt. Governor Brian Dubie spearheaded the effort to pass legislation exempting aircraft parts used in maintenance and repair operations from sales tax. This has helped companies like Aviatron and others secure new business, stimulating economic growth in Vermont.

“Like my proposal this year to reform the Vermont Employment Growth Incentive (VEGI) program to provide greater assistance to companies creating good paying green jobs, this is an example of how a targeted investment by the state can help create jobs and economic activity,” Governor Douglas said. “I urge the Legislature to make this change permanent, because this is a business that can take place anywhere and we want to make sure that these jobs stay in Vermont.”

The Governor also urged lawmakers to enact his “Green VEGI” program to make larger economic incentives available to companies creating environmentally-friendly jobs.

“Programs like this are essential to promoting economic growth in Vermont,” Governor Douglas said.

Founded in 1979, Aviatron is certified by both the Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency. The firm performs repairs and overhaul of aircraft and helicopter components, including air conditioning, electrical, fuel, pneumatic and hydraulic systems and lighting systems.

Greg Donahue, General Manager of Aviatron, credited his company’s reputation for superior workmanship and quick turnaround times for growing Aviatron’s business and contributing to successes like the new regional contract.

“Our team has worked to achieve this, but I’d also like to recognize the work of the Vermont Aerospace and Aviation Association, Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie and the Vermont Procurement Technical Assistance Center, who were instrumental in the group’s formation,” Donahue said. “The state has really been working to help strengthen this important industry sector.”

Source: Office of the Governor
Last Updated at: March 07, 2008 15:59:41