It is an honor to serve the members and board as the new President of FABA. I would like to thank the outgoing President, Rich Richards, for his dedication to the FABA agenda and recent legislative success in the passing of the FABA-written and -sponsored mechanic's lien law bill. I enjoyed connecting with our members and sponsors at the conference, and feel energized by the unique character and drive of our organization. It’s a happy moment for me to contribute to that legacy.
Florida is an Aviation State. Many important "firsts" have happened here and our diverse membership is driving other "firsts" right here in the State of Florida, enabled by a healthy ecosystem of manufacturing, services and support, professional services, FBOs, fuel companies, higher education and training, and other aviation businesses. It is important that our lawmakers understand the important role of aviation in Florida, and that aviation is an enabler to all other industries and to the future of Florida. Our board represents our membership companies by telling this story in Tallahassee. FABA continues to promote the aviation sales tax repeal, and will be driving this and other initiatives through our lobbyist and Legislative Committee. Through a study funded by FABA we actually predict that a repeal will - perhaps counter intuitively- increase net revenues to the State of Florida. This will happen from more closings in the state, driving increased support requirements such as MRO, flight training, FBO Requirements, hotels, cars, tourist activity and even impact decision making on aircraft domicile. A 2019 Forbes article indicates a single private aircraft brings $2.5M in economic activity to the surrounding neighborhood. Aviation is good for the State and an economic driver for so many other local industries.
FABA's focus on education ensures our successors are equipped, enabled, and inspired to build on the work that we are doing today. Our Education Committee offers opportunities to students to intern, network, and participate in committees, projects, and panels, and the students offer us a glimpse of our bright future.
It is particularly important to me that FABA deepen our interface with the membership to identify the specific issues and opportunities within today's legislative framework that FABA is uniquely positioned to address. Aviation has always attracted those with a pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit, and I am excited to accept the role of President of FABA to help harness this spirit to facilitate meaningful discourse and connections, and to drive legislative and educational initiatives that enable Florida to continue its history as an aviation State and a good home for our membership companies. I challenge our members and those considering membership to become involved in our mission through sponsorship, participation in one of our committees, hosting our students, or attending our annual conference, and I will look forward to celebrating our shared successes.
April Morina, President