Key U.S. roundtable discussed top GA challenges
Oct. 4, 2013, Washington, D.C. - NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen, along with other general aviation leaders, met today with elected officials in a “Small Business Roundtable” to voice their concerns about a number of challenges facing general aviation, including the current government shutdown.
The roundtable on Capitol Hill was chaired by Rep. Sam Graves (R-6-MO), who, in addition to serving as chairman of the House Small Business Committee, is also co-chair of the House General Aviation Caucus and an active general aviation pilot.
“Business aviation is heavily regulated by the federal government, so the impact of the shutdown on our industry is particularly intense,” Bolen said. “We can’t produce, buy, sell, finance, register and in some cases even move an airplane without government involvement. With the Registry in Oklahoma City closed, and the FAA only doing life and safety work, companies are really struggling.”
Bolen pointed out, “large parts of the industry simply cannot function” as a result of the shutdown’s effects. “Ours is an industry that provides over a million jobs, and many of those jobs are at risk every day this shutdown continues. Time is of the essence.”
He thanked the representatives participating in the roundtable for recognizing that general aviation is predominately a U.S. industry largely consisting of small and mid-size businesses.
In addition to Congressman Graves, Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-2-NJ), chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee, and Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-3-MO) spoke specifically about the importance of general aviation to our nation’s transportation system and economy.
Bolen said it was imperative for the Administration and Congress to find a way to work together to address budget challenges. He also emphasized that general aviation would work constructively with lawmakers to keep the U.S. aviation industry strong in an era of tight resources.
“In addition to being an important industry and a U.S. industry, we also want to be a responsible industry. We want to work with you to move forward,” Bolen said.