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Aero-Betrayal? NetJets Comes Out In Support Of AIRR Act, Privatization

Writes Letter To Chairman Shuster Expressing Support For The Bill

NetJets Aviation today split from much of the GA and Business Aviation community and announced its support for the 21st Century AIRR Act (H.R. 2997) which is expected to be taken up in the House of Representatives this month.

In the letter from NetJets to Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) the company cites what it says is the United States’ "outdated air traffic control system and budget uncertainties" as reasons for its support of the bill.

The letter states, “We appreciate your work to ensure the continued safety and innovation of our airspace, all while preserving the interests of general aviation; namely, an improved board selection process, an exemption from user fees for general aviation, and access protection for small airports.”

In a news release, Chairman Shuster reiterated his position that the bill has bipartisan support, including some prominent backers of GA. “I welcome the support for our bill from the world leader in business general aviation,” Shuster said. “My colleagues and I, including GA pilot Congressman Sam Graves, went to great lengths to make sure this bill protects the interests of the general aviation community and included every legislative request they asked for. Today’s letter from NetJets, a leader in general aviation, reflects those efforts. With this bill, we will improve aviation for all users of the system.

“I continue to be encouraged by the growing support I see when my colleagues and I talk with Members of Congress and outside stakeholders, and are given the opportunity to clear up the misinformation being used by a few Washington special interest groups to oppose FAA reform.”

Shuster added, “As the letter mentions, our bill explicitly ensures guaranteed access to airspace and absolutely no user fees for general aviation, as well as strong GA representation on the air traffic control service board. This legislation is critical to maintaining America’s lead in aviation, growing American jobs and American innovation, and ensuring the improvement of our inefficient air traffic control service for every single user of the aviation system, including our unique and vital GA community and our rural communities.”

In the meantime, industry sources indicate bewilderment over what many consider to be an abject betrayal of the GA and BizAv communities... with many wondering what Shuster, known for being a coercive political operator -- even to the point of threatening fellow legislators and aviation organizations, may have offered NetJets to get this level of support -- even though the letter was written by an Executive VP and NOT the CEO.

(Source: House Transportation Committee news release)

FMI: transportation.house.gov

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