U.S. Reps Form General Aviation Caucus
When it comes to dealing with Washington, general aviation needs all the help it can get, and some support appeared recently when two congressmen formed a General Aviation Caucus. Representatives Vernon J. Ehlers, R-Mich., and Allen Boyd, D-Fla., joined together as co-chairs to help inform other members of Congress and the administration about the value of GA to the nation's economy and transportation system. Congressman Boyd, who is a pilot, says he knows firsthand how important GA is to rural communities like the farming region in northern Florida that he represents. "This campaign is an important tool for raising public awareness of general aviation, and I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to keep general aviation strong," he said. The two representatives have invited their colleagues to join the caucus, noting that the GA industry is one of the few U.S. industries that maintains a positive foreign-trade balance, and it contributes more than $150 billion to the U.S. economy each year and 1.3 million jobs. The two also expressed support for AOPA's GA Serves America campaign.
The National Business Aviation Association was quick to respond to the announcement with lots of encouragement. "NBAA and the business aviation community thank Representatives Ehlers and Boyd for spearheading the caucus, and promoting the value of all general aviation, including business aviation," said NBAA CEO Ed Bolen. "The formation of the caucus demonstrates a recognition in Congress that general aviation plays a critical role in serving citizens and communities in every state." NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association have created a program to advocate for the business aviation community, the No Plane No Gain initiative, which underscores the essential role of business aviation in the U.S. today.