Governor Martin O’Malley has declared the month of September General Aviation and Community Airport Month in Maryland. The goal is to acknowledge the importance general aviation plays in Maryland.

The Governor issued the proclamation to highlight the vital role aviation plays in the lives of the state’s citizens, businesses and farms. Locally, the St. Mary’s County Regional Airport received one of the proclamations to display.

“It’s wonderful the Governor has decided to focus attention on general aviation in or state,” said George Erichsen, P.E., Public Works and Transportation Director. “St. Mary’s County Airport is finalizing the design for the relocation of Lawrence Hayden and Airport Roads in preparation for the expansion of the taxiway and runway.” Erichsen says the improvements should help industrial, technological and corporate based companies transport their goods and services.

Also a plan for construction of over 100,000 square feet of hangar space and eight Research and Development office buildings has received concept approval. The projected facilities represent an increase in space to serve the aviation and local business communities.

In August, the University of Maryland cut the ribbon on the nation’s first Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Site at the airport. The site will offer researchers, students, government and industry access to extensive resources and pools of expertise in all aspects of UAS research.

A 2013 Maryland Economic Impact of Airports study found St. Mary’s County airport had 146 based aircraft and more than 38,000 aircraft operations annually. Approximately 265 local jobs were directly tied to the airport.