VABA Legislative Successes
Throughout the year the VA. Va. continues to be the voice for Virginia aviation business through advocacy, education, research, business promotion, and networking.
The VABA led industry efforts to create and sustain the Aviation Parts and Supplies Tax Credit.
In 2017 and 2018, the VABA led the lobbying effort to statutorily create the aviation parts and supplies tax credit making aircraft and unmanned aerial aircraft maintenance and repair facilities competitive with 32 other states, including all surrounding states that provide the credit. Since adoption, Virginia maintenance facilities have consistently grown and have been awarded contracts previously unavailable with substantial growth in the avionics market. Success in the Commonwealth has attributed to both capital investment in expansion of existing facilities and job growth throughout the Commonwealth.
The VABA also led the effort to extend the sunset provision on the Aviation Parts and Supplies Tax Credit to 2025, when the General Assembly will review the effectiveness of all tax credits available to business.
The aviation parts and supplies tax credit was scheduled to sunset on July 1, 2022. The VABA led the lobbying effort to extend the credit and make it a permanent part of Virginia law when the tax credit was under attack by the Joint Legislative Audit Review Commission. After much effort, the VABA successfully fought off this effort, maintaining the credit for all aircraft over 2,400 pounds gross takeoff weight. During the next three years the VABA will work with industry and state leaders to make the tax credit a permanent part of the economic toolbox for industry growth in Virginia.
Without our efforts, the tax credit would have expired, leading to aviation work going back to other states.
Aviation Workforce Development Successes
The VABA leads industry efforts on Aviation Workforce Development.
Since the Joint Commission on Technology and Science (JCOTS) submitted its 2018 study on aviation and aerospace in Virginia, the VABA has been leading efforts to push aerospace education STEM programming and advanced degree programs in K-12 throughout Virginia school systems. The JCOTS study identified five areas for the Commonwealth to focus on that includes (1) a scholarship program to take recipients through pilot ground school training; (2) a portal to provide a consolidated database on aviation training materials, schools, programs available to all constituencies; (3) coordinated intern management programs to connect Virginia students interested in an aviation related internship with Virginia businesses offering internships; (4) creation of the Virginia Aviation Scholars Program to provide education, training and career awareness for Virginia high school students; and (5) the creation of an aviation-focused session for the Building Leaders Advancing Science and Technology (BLAST) program offering immersive three-day residential program for 9th and 10th grade students at Virginia institutions of Higher Education.
In addition to the above programs, in conjunction with the Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC), the VABA has helped to facilitate funding for the PATHWAYS Flight Academy, managed by the VSGC and expansion of existing internship programs also managed by VSGC.
During this past legislative session, the VABA supported efforts to expand Aircraft Maintenance Technician Training (AMT) programs at Danville Community College in partnership with Averett University Aviation and Aerospace program. Additional funding was also provided to the Denbigh High School Aerospace Education Academy in Newport News.