Every day, general aviation — or small aircraft — shuttle patients to trauma centers and specialized medical care facilities in order to quickly provide patients with the care they require. A couple years ago, my father ended up being one of those patients. He had broken his hip, and because of the severity of his injury, needed surgery as soon as possible. With ambulances unavailable due to the remoteness of the area, a plane was able to take him to the nearest hospital that could help him — over two hours away by car. There is no telling what would have happened if we did not have a plane to get him to surgery in time. Across Nevada, these type of aircraft and the airports they depend on not only support a host of important medical services, but also public safety, law enforcement operations, disaster relief and fire fighting. Due to a particularly dry winter, firefighters across our region have already had to battle multiple serious blazes, some which have already destroyed homes right here in Nevada. In addition to the expertise and heroism of these brave firefighters who put their lives on the line to help fight wildfires, aircraft are helpful in dispersing water and fire retardants. These fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters fly out of airports such as Lincoln County Airport based in Panaca, and play a significant role in containing and fighting wildfires. However, these aircraft are also an important tool for businesses of all sizes from Las Vegas to Elko. General aviation allows our businesses to grow, meet with multiple customers in one day, travel where there is little or no access to commercial flights, reach far-off plants and deliver tools and demonstration equipment. These aircraft not only support tourism to Las Vegas, but also to more remote towns around our state to hunt, fish and enjoy the wildlife our state offers. And, general aviation accounts for $150 billion in economic activity across the country each year, supporting 1.2 million jobs, including more than $720 million in economic activity annually right here in Nevada.
In spite of all of these benefits, unfortunately, many lawmakers and the general public are still not aware of the many benefits of this form of transportation. For example, the president’s budget proposal released earlier this year includes a user fee that would be extremely detrimental to businesses and organizations around our state that rely on general aviation. This toll-like tax would put a fee on each flight, hurting small and medium-size businesses just as they are beginning to recover from the recession, and would require a whole new bureaucracy in the FAA to administer these new fees and taxes. For all of us in Nevada, air transportation supports medical, fire fighting, law enforcement and commerce for local communities and economies across our state. I hope that our leaders and lawmakers will recognize and support the invaluable role that these airports and aircraft have for our state and our country.
Wendy Rudder, President
Nevada Airports Association
Open Letter To Those in Burgas, Bulgaria:
On behalf of the Reno/Tahoe Jewish community, we would like to express our heartfelt condolences regarding the tragic bombing in Burgas, Bulgaria, that shook your families and the entire Jewish world on July 18.
People in our own country, in Aurora, Colo., were shot and killed, not by a political terrorist, and indeed, we know even less about reasons for such violence there. The horror of these two events, only a day apart, have shaken all people who strive for peace and unity.
We especially wish to convey our sympathy to the families of Amir Menashe, Itzik Kolengi, Maor Harush, Elior Priess and Kochava Shriki, and their bus driver, Mustafa Kyosov. Like Jewish communities everywhere, we will be including the names of these souls in our mourner’s prayer and offer our prayers for comfort for the families and for everyone in your community. We pray that they will heal from this trauma and will be able to regain a sense of wholeness and security.
Rabbi Elizabeth Beyer, Temple Beth Or, Reno
Rabbi Meredith Cahn, North Tahoe Hebrew Congregation
Rabbi Evon Yakar, Temple Bat Yam
Douglas Goodman, Temple Sinai, Reno
Judy Hirsch, Temple Emanuel, Reno