Kansas state officials, including Gov. Sam Brownback, heard from about 160 aviation industry officials that governments must play an active role in fostering aerospace. The forum, held in Wichita on Monday, brought together most of the power players in the Wichita-based businesses and the message was relatively consistent. "We are not looking for a handout, but tax policies are important to our business," David Coleal, the general manager of Bombardier Learjet in Wichita, is quoted by The Associated Press as saying. Cessna CEO Jack Pelton went a step further and suggested eliminating the corporate income tax on money aircraft companies spend buying supplies and services from other Kansas companies.
Others suggested the best thing government could do is be less involved in the day-to-day operations of aerospace companies. "Unnecessary regulation or overzealous enforcement increases our costs and makes us less competitive," the AP quotes Jeff Turner, CEO of Spirit AeroSystems, as saying. There was also a call to encourage and retain engineering graduates from local universities.