Celebrating International Civil Aviation Day

Today marks the 76th annual celebration of International Civil Aviation Day! Since 1996, the aviation industry has taken part in spreading worldwide awareness on December 7th about the importance of civil aviation for social and economic development. On a global scale, air transport provides 65.5 million jobs and generates $2.7 trillion in revenue while safely transporting an average of 12 million passengers per day. Civil aviation is crucial for achieving seamless global supply chains, supporting the tourism economy, and more. 

Here in the Shenandoah Valley, economic development organizations like the Shenandoah Valley Partnership (SVP) help position our area as a prime location for investors and businesses looking to grow and expand. Within the last five years, SVP has fostered nearly $2 billion in new capital investments creating over 2,300 new jobs in our region. By bringing together economic development partners in our area, SVP increases the prosperity and quality of life for everyone that calls the Shenandoah Valley home. One key factor for attracting new businesses to our area is air service with global connectivity as Jay Langston, our special guest writer and the Executive Director of SVP, explains below. 


Hello Valley Travelers, 

As Executive Director for the Shenandoah Valley Partnership (SVP), I lead efforts to bring together business, government, education leaders, and state-wide strategic partners to improve the region’s prosperity and quality of life. The Shenandoah Valley Airport (SHD) has been a long-time investor and supporter of our mission.

In 1996 the United Nations proclaimed December 7th as International Civil Aviation Day with the purpose of recognizing the importance of aviation to the social and economic development world. From traditional economic development goals to initiatives to retain and attract new talent to the area, SHD is an asset, and their services are instrumental in proving our efforts successful.

Charged with attracting new businesses to the area and helping existing companies expand, SVP touts our local air service that provides seamless access to major markets. One way that we promote the Shenandoah Valley economic development assets is by hosting site selectors for a familiarization tour of our region. Site selectors assist companies in assessing the impacts of business location, expansion, and consolidation decisions. I always say there is a reason we start and end a familiarization tour at SHD. Market access is key in any region’s economic development efforts, and the Shenandoah Valley’s interstate infrastructure, rail lines, third-party logistics providers, and inland port facility are complemented and enhanced by SHD’s air service. We are truly one-stop from the rest of the world.

Site selectors and economic development partners ending a familiarization tour at SHD in 2018.

In addition to commercial air service, SHD provides first-rate facilities and impressive on-site FBO Services that make corporate travel effortless for pilots and passengers. Many of our leading employers, such as McKee and 21 international companies, utilize SHD for these services. Through their successful commercial service and general aviation amenities for corporate travel, SHD fully supports industry in the Shenandoah Valley and makes business investments possible.

Check out this fun virtual familiarization tour we held this summer. First on the list was a welcome from SHD!

SVP recognizes the critical importance of incorporating SHD into travel plans for a positive economic development impact and enhanced quality of life. Our workforce development efforts include focusing on talent attraction and retention. This month we are launching a quality of life website so current higher-education students and potential residents can learn why the Shenandoah Valley is an ideal location to live, work, and play. The benefits SHD provides to Shenandoah Valley residents are immense. With just one stop, SHD passengers have access to hundreds of domestic and international destinations while enjoying a hassle-free travel experience. We look forward to telling this story more through our new platform.

 I’m so very fortunate I am able to promote and share the many reasons I’m proud to call the Shenandoah Valley home on a daily basis, and SHD is one of those reasons.


Jay A. Langston, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Shenandoah Valley Partnership 


By supporting SHD you’re doing more than sharing in the convenience and rich history of what the airport provides. You are contributing to a bright economic future for our area and a thriving quality of life for Shenandoah Valley residents.