NBAA: Language in Auto Assistance Package Could Have Unintended Consequences

WASHINGTON, DC – National Aviation Business Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen today expressed his concern that language regarding the use of business aviation, as included in a proposed auto industry financial assistance package being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives, could have unintended consequences.

In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Bolen points out that the language in the bill regarding business aviation "appears to prohibit the use of business aviation in ALL situations, including when it is the sole mode of transportation available to a business, or it is the most prudent and cost-effective solution to a given transportation challenge."

Bolen’s letter continues: "While we understand the intent of Congress to address a specific situation dealing with the auto industry, we believe that the broad wording of the provision could be misinterpreted as suggesting that Congress does not recognize the critical importance of this mode of transportation to the success of U.S. businesses facing unprecedented international competition, the economic development of small towns and rural communities, and the jobs of hundreds of thousands of U.S. workers."

The letter reminds Speaker Pelosi of the many reasons that businesses and communities rely on business aviation; cited in the letter were some of the following:

  • Competitiveness – business aviation helps companies all across the United States do more in less time, because employees can work collectively en route to a destination and stay in constant contact with the home office for the duration of the mission.
  • Efficiency – business airplanes promote efficiency, because they reduce the time needed for employee travel, and allow companies to visit three or four cities in a single day.
  • Cost-effectiveness – business aviation often provides the most cost-effective mode of transportation for employees, particularly when companies are trying to move teams of people long distances while keeping hotel and other travel costs down.
  • Transportation lifeline – business aviation often serves as a critical transportation lifeline for communities across the country.

"With about 100 U.S. cities having lost airline service in the past year, it's easy to understand why so many smaller towns have found business aviation to be a critical lifeline for their economic development. Nobody wants to see a company be forced to move simply because its community has lost its commercial airline service," the letter states.

Bolen’s letter also points out that the business aviation community is comprised of a diverse composite of hundreds of thousands of people: "These workers include schedulers, dispatchers, maintenance technicians, pilots, training professionals, insurers, and many other disciplines." Bolen further notes, "Congress should recognize that these are good jobs, performed by good people. The work they do matters to the companies they work for, the communities they live in, and our nation as a whole."

Bolen concludes his letter by pointing out that the Association understands the importance of strong federal stewardship of any federal monies provided to the U.S. auto companies. "However," the letter asserts, "We urge you to craft this legislation in a manner which does not inadvertently harm another critical U.S. industry. We want to be careful not to hurt the ability of American companies to do the things that allow them to keep people working and to compete."

A complete copy of Bolen’s letter can be reviewed by clicking here.

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