Business Aviation Ban Dropped From TARP

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Business aviation groups are breathing a collective sigh of relief with the news late Tuesday that Congress has dropped a provision from a business assistance plan that would have required companies to get rid of their aircraft to qualify for relief. In a last-minute revision, Congress agreed to drop an amendment that would have required companies applying for help under the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) to divest themselves of corporate aircraft. "Congress has clearly recognized that it is important to provide Americans with strong oversight of the federal dollars in the TARP program, but that the language addressing business aviation had the potential to fuel job losses for countless people in the general aviation community," said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. "We thank Congress for recognizing the importance of general aviation to companies and communities across the country with the elimination of this onerous requirement from the TARP proposal."

Although NBAA, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and other groups were lobbying furiously to get the language out of the bill, Bolen said it was members who made the difference by contacting their elected representatives directly. "NBAA has long said that efforts by the association in Washington are most effective if its members also reach out to Congress," Bolen told NBAA members in an e-mail message today. "Today's outcome shows that our members' direct participation can make a difference."