Stresses "Critical Role" GA Plays In Economy
Testifying before Congressional lawmakers Wednesday, National
Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen
challenged those who have recently questioned the value of business
aviation, or mischaracterized the use of business aircraft.
Even though the House Subcommittee hearing was intended to focus
on future planning for the nation's aviation system, Bolen was
the recent drumbeat of negative media coverage of the
industry, and an emerging pattern of disparaging the
use of general aviation for business purposes and calls for
companies to divest of the asset.
"It's a fact: business aviation is essential to America," Bolen
responded. "Unfortunately, an understanding of that reality is not
reflected in calls for companies to divest of their business
"Instead, such proposals are prompted by a caricature of
business aviation that is totally unrepresentative of our
community, and dangerous," Bolen continued. "It's dangerous because
it's costing jobs. It's dangerous because it is threatening an
entire manufacturing base. It's dangerous because it is taking away
a tool many companies absolutely rely on to remain competitive and
survive, especially in this unforgiving marketplace."
Bolen admitted business aviation "may not be appropriate in
every instance... But I can tell you this: If you are trying to
reach one of the approximately 100 cities that's lost airline
service in the past year, business aviation is prudent and cost
effective. If you are trying to reach several sites in a single
day, business aviation is prudent and cost effective."
When the topic turned back to the matter at hand, Bolen also
stressed his organization -- and the general aviation industry as a
whole -- remains committed to continued progress toward a Next
Generation Air Traffic Control system.
"General aviation plays a critical role in driving economic
growth and investment across the country," Bolen said. "We strongly
support your work to improve our nation's aviation system, which
will also significantly contribute to economic growth and job
creation. In these challenging economic times, the importance of a
robust transportation system cannot be overemphasized."