The New Mexico Airport Managers Association (NMAMA), in conjunction with the New Mexico Department of Transportation’s Aviation Division, will host Aviation Day on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the West Wing of the State Capitol in Santa Fe.

“Our organization invites New Mexico residents to come show their love for aviation, and see how aviation directly affects jobs, safety, tourism revenue and mobility for our state and nation,” said Doña Ana County Airport Manager Vernon Wilson, a former NMAMA board member.

Wilson said planned table-top displays include presentations by the New Mexico Aviation Aerospace Association, the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, EMS services, the N.M. Recreational Aviation Foundation, the Air Care Alliance, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the New Mexico Pilots Association, the New Mexico Department of Transportation Aviation Division and the New Mexico Airport Mangers’ Association.

Planned static displays include a hot air balloon gondola and a model of the Zuni Glider, which was designed and built in New Mexico. There will be many members of New Mexico’s Aviation Community on hand to discuss the impact and importance of aviation in the state.

New Mexico is home to 59 public-use, public-owned airports and 114 privately owned airstrips. The 59 public-use airports have a significant impact on New Mexico’s economy. According to the most recent New Mexico Airport System Plan, general aviation accounts for $3.1 billion in economic activity and supports more than 48,000 jobs in the state.

Wilson said the Doña Ana County Airport at Santa Teresa boasts 234 public and private-sector employees with an estimated annual payroll of $7.5 million. He estimated the total annual economic impact of the Dona Ana County Airport at nearly $18 million.

According to NMAMA President and Santa Fe Airport Manager Jim Montman, airports in New Mexico are more important than most residents probably realize.

“Airports play a vital role in the national and state transportation systems by providing jobs and critical safety services, including EMS and firefighting,” Montman said. “The public-owned airports depend on state and federal funding to build and maintain safe runways, taxiways and other infrastructure.”

NMAMA, Montman said, has a long, established history and is a subsection of the New Mexico Municipal League. NMAMA was organized to aid in the improvement of aviation and airport services to municipalities, to provide educational opportunities to airport managers and other related personnel in the State of New Mexico, and to assist the New Mexico Municipal League in promoting and fostering good working relationships with elected and appointed officials from municipalities within New Mexico.

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For more information on NMAMA, visit http://nmml.org/subsections/airport-managers/