NON-ANSWERS BY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES OF AOPA’S QUESTIONS RAISE SERIOUS CONCERNS AND A NEED TO COALESCE

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ARTICLE: The next president addresses GA

White House
We will soon know whether the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. remains or a new President will be elected. AOPA, its legions of members with incomes able to support an airplane and its ultimate Washington insider, Craig Fuller were able to submit to the President and Governor Romney 7 questions for which the general aviation community wants answers. The above link will lead the reader to the AOPA page on which the two candidates (read some lowly staff person) provided SOME verbiage on the subject. Take a minute to review the words, but it is likely that you will find that none of the text responds directly to the well-crafted AOPA inquiries.

The issue of where the political parties and the candidates stand on Next Gen, aviation policies, users fees and aviation related issues have been the subjects of many posts (see ALPA Column, among others). What is MOST obvious is that aviation (not just GA, but commercial and business aviation as well as the manufacturing sector) does not appear to be able to command the attention of national politics. While professionals who toil in these businesses feel that these are critical questions (see ALPA Statement), no one seems to recognize aviation’s concerns as important.

After November 6, the leaders of aviation should gather and consider what is wrong. It is not intuitive why aviation is not respected–whether the “maturity” of aviation, compared to growing, consumer compelling businesses like the internet, does not catch the interest of the nation or whether the divisiveness of the industry over issues like user fees or whatever allows Congress or the White House to ignore airplanes. What is clear is that a political solution for NextGen must be found soon and a few seem to see that as a pressing issue. This campaign has taught us that even the influence of 10,000,000 voters does not move the policy decision process. The aviation leaders would be well served to meet and design an industry-wide strategy.

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