WASHINGTON D.C., (June 28th, 2011) On Monday June 27th, the Airports Council International (ACI) held a Small Airports Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. At the invitation of ACI, members of the General Aviation Infrastructure and Investment Coalition (GAIIC) engaged in a discussion with the airport community regarding how to stimulate private investment in airports by allowing fixed-base operators (FBOs) to take advantage of current commercial tax rules and lending practices. ACI members and GAIIC representatives spent considerable time working through how best to facilitate investment. These discussions were a positive step forward. GAIIC engagement with the airport community continues and will hopefully result in an agreement that will spur greater investment in airports in the near future.
This meeting continued discussions from the Congressional Roundtable held June 15th by Congressman Petri, Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation, which focused on how best to facilitate and encourage private sector investment in airports. GAIIC members outlined the importance of allowing FBOs to take advantage of normal commercial tax rules and lending practices regarding depreciation and amortization that incentivize investment and economic growth. Coalition members also described the pent up demand for investment that is being hindered by business practices at some airports.
GAIIC applauds Chairman Petri for his effort to increase cooperation and open the lines of communication between fixed-base operators and airports. In the current economic climate, it is essential to foster public/private partnerships that create an investment-friendly environment. These partnerships stimulate sustained, cost-effective public infrastructure investment. Chairman Petri and members of the roundtable urged participants to continue their discussion to try and reach a resolution.
GAIIC represents a concerned group of FBOs in support of establishing a flexible framework that will facilitate investment. Members of the GAIIC coalition are petitioning to establish a flexible framework of ‘Best Practices’ as a guide for the industry. The framework provides a guide for airports looking to enhance investment in their facilities.
Many airports already understand that encouraging private sector investments in facilities, such as general aviation hangars, means offering long-term leases. These leases enable FBOs to utilize tax advantages and provide certainty and commitment for the parties involved. However, many airports do not sufficiently recognize this, and only offer short-term opportunities, which are often not a reasonable length for the projects.
At a time when government funding is a precious commodity, communities cannot afford to make investments when private companies are willing to provide capital dollars for the benefit of the community.
• Atlantic Aviation
• Landmark Aviation
• NATA – Representing Independent FBOs
• Ross Aviation
• Signature Flight Support
• TAC Air