Sales of Aviation License Plates to Begin in Florida Later This Year

Proceeds from the plate sales will help fund aviation education.

Florida is preparing to issue license plates with the message, Support General Aviation.” [Courtesy: AOPA]

Pilots and aviation enthusiasts in Florida soon will be able to celebrate their passion with general aviation license plates, thanks to three local pilots with support from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA).

Florida-based pilots Joseph Hurtuk, Ian Goldbaum, and Richard Golightly collaborated in the design of a specialty plate with the theme, “Support General Aviation.” Among their goals was highlighting the economic impact of aviation in the state, which ranks third in the U.S. for the total number of pilots, aircraft, and airports.  

The three pilots worked with Stacey Heaton, AOPA’s southern regional manager, to seek help from elected officials to promote the plate. State Representative Doug Bankson (R-District 39) and State Senator Gayle Harrell (R-District 83) played major roles in legislative efforts to gain House and Senate approval. The next stop for the plate is the governor’s desk, where it is expected to receive approval by the end of March, AOPA said.

"Special thanks go to representative Bankson and senator Harrell,” said Heaton. “The representative's own passion for aviation and the senator's recognition of our members' passion for aviation made this effort possible." 

After receiving the governor’s signature, the plate still has to go through a process to coordinate its distribution. Presales are set to begin October 1 with a requirement of 3,000 purchases before the state can begin turning out the plates for drivers. Proceeds from the sale of the specialty plates will go toward funding aviation education scholarships for Floridians, which will be managed through the Aerospace Center for Excellence in Lakeland, Florida.

Jonathan Welsh is a private pilot who worked as a reporter, editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal for 21 years, mostly covering the auto industry. His passion for aviation began in childhood with balsa-wood gliders his aunt would buy for him at the corner store. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanWelsh4

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