Tue, Mar 01, 2011
"The 21st Century Will Be Defined By Transportation," NBAA CEO
Speaking to a major aviation policy forum in Washington, DC
Monday, NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen (pictured) said aviation
would be key to defining America's leadership in an increasingly
global economy, and outlined five priorities to ensure the
industry's continued success. "Throughout history, great economies
and great countries have been defined by their transportation
systems," Bolen told attendees at a monthly lunch meeting of the
Aero Club of Washington.
"In America, the 21st Century will also be defined by
transportation, and the key mode will be aviation," he continued.
"The fact of the matter is, we are trading and competing in a
global marketplace, and aviation remains the fastest and safest way
for people from around the world to connect with one another."
In spite of the unparalleled advantages of aviation, Bolen
expressed concern that the its potential is being overlooked. "It's
been a long time since we opened up a new airport in the United
States," he said, noting that in contrast, the Chinese had opened
up more than ten airports each year over the past decade. "Looking
to the future, we in the aviation community need to work through
our differences, find the things that bind us together, and focus
on the things galvanize us. That's the only way we are going to
ensure that America retains its global leadership in aviation."
Bolen pointed to five priorities in that regard, including:
- The need to complete reauthorization for the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA). Bolen welcomed the high priority U.S. House
and Senate had placed on completing FAA reauthorization in recent
months, and re-affirmed the industry's commitment to work with
policymakers on passage of a final multi-year legislative
- Preserving security as a national priority. Bolen cited the
host of security measures adopted by the industry in recent years,
stating: "In the U.S., the aviation community has taken security
more seriously than anywhere else in the world. That's because we
recognize that security is a national priority, and going forward,
that recognition must continue. We can't assume that aviation, or
any other single industry, has all the resources needed to address
our nation's many security needs and challenges."
- Continuing progress on reducing aircraft emissions. Bolen noted
that, over the course of decades, the industry has demonstrated a
clear record of progress on reducing aviation's carbon footprint.
"This is an issue we take very seriously," Bolen said, citing
ongoing the investments made in alternate fuels, fuel-efficient
propulsion systems and other technologies. "Aviation has put up a
sustained record of progress on emissions, and we need that
progress to continue."
- Supporting the General Fund for aviation. "Congress has
traditionally supported a healthy General Fund for aviation, out of
recognition that every American - regardless of whether they get on
an airplane or not - benefits from a strong aviation system," Bolen
said. "Maintaining a robust General Fund will ensure the health of
the system in the years to come, and underscore our nation's
emphasis on mobility and commerce."
- Government-industry collaboration on continued transformation
to a "NextGen" aviation system. "NextGen is about taking our
ground-based system digital, so that we can enhance safety of the
system, and reduce the industry's environmental footprint by using
it more efficiently," Bolen observed. "We must ensure that the
vision of this system becomes a reality as soon as possible."
"Looking to the future, it's important that our industry give
unified focus to these priorities, because all segments of the
aviation industry depend on one another," Bolen said. "Equally
important - in a global economy that is increasingly competitive -
citizens, companies and communities will depend on aviation as
never before. After all, two miles of waterway will take a boat two
miles; two miles of road will take a car two miles; two miles of
railway will take a train two miles. But two miles of runway will
take people anywhere in the world."
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