Proving GA's Worth With Marked Money

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If every general aviation dollar was somehow flagged as it traveled through the economy, do you think GA would get more respect? Monty Walford isn't trying to take Rodney Dangerfield's schtick, but he thinks the answer is a definite "yes." Walford, owner of Shreveport, La.- based J & M Aircraft Supply, thinks GA gets pushed around more than most other multibillion-dollar industries -- especially since 9/11 -- and has come up with a way to show off its clout. Walford's message, "General Aviation Made This Payment Possible," is printed on all his company checks (click for large image), and his message is getting noticed. "Think of all the places I send checks each week -- they go to buy shipping boxes, to pay UPS, taxes, and freight," Walford told AVweb. "All the company payroll checks get deposited in banks and go through the system. General aviation dollars touch a lot of people, more than we might realize." Walford believes GA pilots and businesses would do themselves and the industry a lot of good by pushing GA in this very visible way. Walford first began printing the message on his checks about a year ago, after receiving a payment from an Ag operator with the words, "Agriculture makes this possible." "It was too good not to use," Walford said. "And I think others should use it, too. We're fighting for rights, money, and respect. We need to use whatever clout we have!" There is certainly potential clout out there, according to AOPA. About 95 percent of the aircraft flying today in the U.S., roughly 200,000, are general aviation. Multiply that by all those who come into contact with GA, and the number is legion ... as is the potential for GA's marked money.