Appearing before the House Aviation Subcommittee, Pete Bunce, president and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), testified on the modernization of the NextGen air traffic control system and near-term achievable goals associated with its implementation.
In his opening remarks, Bunce emphasized the important role that general aviation plays as a critical stimulus for the economy.
"Our industry contributes over $150 billion to the U.S. economy each year and supports more than 1.2 million high-paying, technical jobs. He stressed that the industry promotes the effective and transparent use of business aircraft, but warned that when politicians vilify their use with the intent to punish irresponsible executives, the unintended consequences directly jeopardize aircraft manufacturing jobs and lead to fewer aircraft orders," he said.
During his testimony on modernization, Bunce said that despite the weak economy, the next several years will offer an opportunity to move NextGen forward.
"Accelerating and expanding Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) ground stations, adequately staffing the Federal Aviation Administration’s offices of aircraft certification and flight standards, and incentivizing operators to equip with ADS-B technology are all important measures that would allow us to reap benefits from NextGen in the near to mid-term," he said.
Bunce also encouraged Congress to move forward with the reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and ensure the agency is provided with the proper direction and tools necessary to advance deployment of NextGen. He also asked Congress to demand that the FAA provide more definition and clarity on what the operating environment will look like in 2025 when NextGen is projected to achieve full implementation. Finally, Bunce implored the subcommittee to ensure that if any climate change taxes or fees are collected through the aviation sector, they are reinvested back into NextGen, which will allow the industry to dramatically reduce emissions.
To view Bunce's full testimony click here.