North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory appointed 18 people to the North Carolina Aviation Development Task Force, which he established through executive order in May.

The aviation industry, both commercial and general, is responsible for more than 100,000 jobs and exceeds $25 billion in impact, according to a press release from McCrory’s office.

The task force is charged with making recommendations on how the state can strengthen aviation programs. The 18 initial members of the group are:

• Michael Landguth, president and CEO of Raleigh-Durham International (RDU)
• Dan Danieley, executive director of Burlington-Alamance Regional
• John Taws, president of Fletcher Industries Inc. and vice chairman of Moore County Partners in Progress Board of Directors
• Robin Hayes, former Congressman and owner of a hosiery mill in Mount Pleasant
• James Kalbach, chairman of the Northeastern Regional Airport Commission
• Larry Ford, attorney focusing on Medicaid planning and chairman of Clay County Travel & Tourism Authority
• Jim Bailey, real estate developer in Carteret County and principal and founder of three development companies
• W. Ashley Smith Jr., president and CEO of Jet Logistics Inc., and incoming chairman of the National Business Aviation Association’s Domestic Operations committee
• Steve Bright, co-owner and co-founder of Talbert & Bright Engineering Planning Consultants
• John Lennon, managing partner for Oceancrest Advisory Services
• Julie Wilsey, deputy airport director at Wilmington International (ILM)
• Gary Lowder, chairman of Stanly County’s airport authority
• Bill Whiteheart, owner and operator of Whiteheart Outdoor Advertising Co. and vice chairman of the National Association of Counties’ Airport subcommittee
• Russell Barringer Jr., chairman and CEO of Dealers Supply Co. and a private instrument-related pilot and aircraft owner
• Kevin Baker, executive director of Piedmont Triad International (GSO)
• Kenneth Walker, retired from Driven Brands Inc., who previously served on the oversight committee at Charlotte Douglas International (CLT)
• Louis Ridley Jr., employed by the Federal Aviation Administration in its performance-based navigation office
• Tony Tata, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Transportation

“North Carolina airports are major contributors to our state’s economy and I am excited about the opportunity to work on a team committed to enhancing further our state’s aviation programs and the impacts they have on the communities they serve,” Landguth says.