1ST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE AIRS WITH NO POSITIVE MENTION OF AVIATION

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Aviation, defined as airlines (passenger and cargo), civil aeronautical manufacturing (both commercial and general/business), airports, business and personal flying, repair and maintenance organizations, flight instruction and a host of related businesses, constitutes a major contributor to the US economy. The US Department of Transportation and its largest entity, the FAA, are among the government’s most visible organizations; NextGen is the largest civil infrastructure project and is critical to the future of the aviation industry.

The major American aviation trade associations, A4A and NBAA/AOPA have expended considerable energy and effort to raise the major industry issues to the attention of both national parties. Issues involved include funding of the FAA’s programs, taxes that may have be assessed to pay for NextGen, sequestration, subsidies for flights to local communities, the ability of local airports to raise funds for infrastructure development and consumer issues. These are not inconsequential matters and while their most direct impact is on the companies (and their millions of employees), each of these legislative/executive debates will impact the general populace.

Given those efforts and the GNP value of these businesses, it’s disappointing that the two candidates only made glancing reference to our business. Gov. Romney’s only mention was in a zinger (“while you have your own House and own Plane, you cannot have your own facts.”)  The President’s remark – a critical attack on the business aircraft – drew a simultaneous blast from NBAA.

Aviation matters and the candidates would be well advised to comment on the large and telling issues that the industry faces and that will impact the consumers.

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