Aviation Advocates Criticize Obama Remarks

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In last week's presidential debate, President Obama said people who operate business jets shouldn't be entitled to an accelerated-depreciation tax break. "My attitude is, if you got a corporate jet, you can probably afford to pay full freight, not get a special break for it," President Obama said. Jack Pelton, former Cessna CEO, was quick to respond with a letter to Carl Brewer, the mayor of Wichita, Kan. "We cannot continue to be reflected by the President as an industry that is 'bad,'" Pelton wrote, according to the Wichita Eagle. "If this is the theme for the campaign, you can guarantee Wichita will suffer beyond what we have seen to date." More than 13,000 aviation workers in Wichita lost their jobs dung the economic downturn.

Ed Bolen, president of NBAA, responded the day after the debate with a letter to the White House. "I'm writing to convey my frustration at your disparaging remarks about our industry during last night's debate," Bolen wrote. "Your comments seemed to illustrate a complete lack of understanding about the importance of business aviation in the U.S., and appear to be at odds with your stated interest in promoting job growth, stimulating exports, driving economic recovery and restoring America to its first-place position in manufacturing." NBAA and other advocates have also protested the administration's user-fee proposals.