This week, Governor Pete Ricketts was joined at the State Capitol by representatives from Nebraska’s aviation industry to celebrate General Aviation Appreciation Month. General aviation and community airports are vital to the Nebraska economy and play a key role in the continued flow of commerce, tourists, and visitors to the state. Governor Ricketts has been a constant advocate for infrastructure in the state, including supporting advancements at general aviation airports throughout Nebraska.
“General aviation is a key component to growing the Good Life here in Nebraska,” said Governor Ricketts. “General aviation helps support some of our state’s key industries, including tourism and healthcare, bringing visitors from across the country and around the world to Nebraska. Thank you to all those in Nebraska’s aviation industry for what they do on a daily basis to foster the continued vitality of general aviation in our state.”
Governor Ricketts was joined at a signing event by Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) Director Kyle Schneweis and NDOT Division of Aeronautics Director Ronnie Mitchell. The Department of Roads and Department of Aeronautics merged in 2017 to become the Nebraska Department of Transportation.
The merger gave the department the ability to have a more coordinated transportation system to drive Nebraska’s economy on the ground, through the air, and by shipping freight. The state’s 80 public-use airports are important to the movement of personnel, equipment, and product helping the aviation industry generate more than $1.2 billion in annual economic output.
“Our airports play an important role in connecting our rural communities and supporting agricultural and public safety operations,” said Director Schneweis. “Director Mitchell and I appreciate the Governor’s support and recognition of the impact aviation has on Nebraska’s economy. General Aviation Appreciation Month gives NDOT the opportunity to acknowledge our partners in the aviation industry and their continued dedication to giving wings to the growth of the state.”
GOV RICKETTS’ COMMITMENT TO TRANSPORTATION IS GROWING NEBRASKA
Over the past few years, Governor Ricketts has worked with the Legislature and transportation stakeholders to focus on ways to modernize Nebraska’s transportation system through innovation and efficiency. Previous initiatives include:
- Cutting Red Tape (LB271): The NDOT’s undertaking of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Assumption streamlines the environmental review process and accelerates project delivery.
- Merging Agencies (LB339): Merging the Department of Roads and the Department of Aeronautics to create the Nebraska Department of Transportation, driving efficiencies that allow savings to be reinvested into roads and runways.
- New Standards: Updates to the state’s roads standards in partnership with the Nebraska Board of Public Roads Classifications and Standards (NBCS) to modernize requirements for new construction and preservation of state highways, county roads, and municipal streets.
- Public Input: Updated and expanded the prioritization process for projects constructed and funded by the Build Nebraska Act and the Transportation Innovation Act that took into account economic impact and stakeholder input, while continuing to consider engineering performance.
- Streamline Speed Limits (LB1009): Streamlining and right-sizing speed limits for Nebraskans across the state.
- Transportation Innovation Act (LB960): The Transportation Innovation Act provided NDOT with new revenue, programs, and tools to increase mobility, freight, economic growth, and safety in Nebraska.