BOSTON (WWLP)– The state legislature’s Aviation Caucus has elected Representative Natalie M. Blais (D-Sunderland) and Senator John C. Velis (D-Westfield) as co-chairs of the Caucus.
The caucus held it’s first meeting during the 192nd legislative session on Monday. Representatives, Senators and members of the airport industry met virtually to discuss legislation and initiatives impacting the aviation industry in Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts Legislative Aviation Caucus was the first pro-aviation legislative caucus established in the country. The mission is to promote and support airports, aviation, and the high tech jobs in the aviation field across the state.
“One of my goals as Chair of the Aviation Caucus is to ensure that my colleagues in the legislature are as informed as possible about the aviation industry and how it impacts our Commonwealth,” said Senator Velis. “Prior to representing Westfield and Barnes Regional Airport, I didn’t know much about aviation myself. But this sector has a huge impact on our communities and our economy, and it’s so important that we are recognizing that and working alongside them on the issues they face.”
“I look forward to working with my colleagues to identify ways the Legislature can support this vital transportation sector in the Commonwealth,” said Representative Blais. “Looking longer term, I am excited about the future of aviation and the policies we will need to consider as a Commonwealth to ensure the safe integration of technology including but not limited to unmanned aircraft systems.”
All state legislators can join the caucus. Other western Massachusetts elected officials at the meeting were State Representatives Dan Carey (D-Easthampton) and Kelly Pease (R-Westfield). They were joined by representatives of the Massachusetts Airport Management Association, airport officials from across the state, and other aviation industry members. Several pieces of legislation related to airports and aviation-related business were discussed during the meeting.