Thousands Gather For GA Rally In Wichita
More than 2,000 general aviation
workers, state and local officials, and industry leaders gathered
in Wichita Monday for a rally in support of GA. The event, held at
Cessna Aircraft Company, was organized by the GAMA in partnership
with Cessna, Hawker Beechcraft, Bombardier Learjet and general
aviation suppliers throughout Kansas.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, Governor Sam
Brownback, Senator Jerry Moran, and Congressman Mike Pompeo
recognized general aviation's tremendous impact on the state of
Kansas as each spoke to the large crowd. The GA industry
contributes more than $7 billion annually to the state's economy
and GAMA member companies employ more than 17,000 Kansans.
"For America to compete and win in the 21st century's global
economy, our businesses need to out-innovate and out-build the rest
of the world," said LaHood. "That's exactly what is happening here
in Wichita, where thousands of aviation workers are designing the
next generation of aircraft. The general aviation industry already
supports 1.2 million jobs across America and contributes more than
$150 billion to the nation's economy. And I believe the industry's
efforts are crucial to President Obama's goal of doubling exports
within five years - just as they're essential to keeping America on
trajectory toward economic recovery."
Transportation Secretary LaHood
"It is vital that industry and government work together to
ensure that laws and regulations promote manufacturing, resulting
in greater economic stability, industry investment and jobs," added
Jack Pelton, chairman, president and CEO of Cessna. We are
appreciative that these national leaders have come to view the
tremendous products built here in Wichita and meet thousands of
Kansans who produce them."
Hawker Beechcraft's Bill Brown, executive vice president of
Global Operations, stated, "Our industry is a powerful source of
over 1.2 million high-paying, technical jobs with thousands of
those right here in Kansas. The area's highly skilled work force
and our high quality, diverse positions have proved a successful
combination for the local and state economy. As the economy
recovers, general aviation will continue to be a source of great
jobs for Kansans."
"Bombardier Learjet is proud to contribute to Kansas' number one
ranking in U.S. general aviation exports," said David Coleal, vice
president and general manager of Bombardier Learjet. Even
during a severe economic downturn, the GA industry remains one of
the only sectors in U.S. manufacturing that still contributes
positively to the balance of trade. This underscores the
critical role that general aviation can play in growing U.S.
"The Kansas rally today served as a tremendous opportunity to
showcase our industry to the Administration," said GAMA president
and CEO Pete Bunce. "The fabric of general aviation touches
thousands of communities across North America and is rapidly
expanding to all parts of the world. This industry is an
economic engine of growth and needs to be promoted and nurtured by
our elected officials at every opportunity. It is very
important to general aviation that Secretary LaHood, Governor
Brownback, Senator Moran, and Congressman Pompeo recognized GA's
tremendous impact in Kansas."