Washington, DC, June 29, 2011 – National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen today forcefully challenged disparaging remarks about business aviation made by President Barack Obama during a June 29 White House press conference.
"The president has inexplicably chosen to vilify and mischaracterize business aviation – an industry that is critical for citizens, companies and communities across the U.S., and one that can play a central role in the economic recovery he says he wants to promote."
Bolen was referencing the president's remarks concerning tax policies for general aviation (GA) airplanes. The president repeatedly denigrated business airplane owners and operators, apparently to make a case that current tax "depreciation schedules" for GA airplanes are too short, and should be lengthened.
Bolen said the president's words today fly in the face of comments he made just last October; back then, Obama championed his own proposal to accelerate depreciation schedules – something the president said at the time was intended, "to allow businesses and investors to deduct immediately the full cost of most investments [that] will help businesses expand and hire."
"Nine months ago, this president extolled the virtues of shortening depreciation schedules to stimulate jobs," Bolen said. "Now he seems to want to reverse course and push ahead with punitive treatment for general aviation, an industry that creates jobs, helps companies succeed and serves communities all around America.
"Furthermore," Bolen said, "The idea that, in the current job environment, we would meddle with a proven formula for incentivizing the purchase of American products is unthinkable, and flies in the face of policies he and other elected officials on both sides of the aisle agreed to just months ago.
"Equally alarming, the president's disparaging remarks reflect a total lack of understanding – or a complete disregard – for general aviation in the U.S.," Bolen added. "The fact is, general aviation is an industry that employs 1.2 million people and generates $150 billion in revenues each year. It's one of the remaining few industries that produces much-needed exports and contributes positively to the nation's balance of trade. Additionally, most companies relying on a business airplane are small and mid-size companies, and they’re flying into towns with little or no airline service. Simply put, these companies are using their aircraft to reach for opportunities to keep their businesses alive in an unforgiving economic marketplace. In the process, they’re bringing jobs, investment and hope to towns across the country.
Bolen concluded: "The Obama proposal is bad policy and cynical politics. We will oppose the idea vigorously, and we call on Congress to reject it. We need to focus on policies that foster the growth of business aviation, so that it can continue serving citizens, companies and communities across the U.S."