Voices of AAAA Members
November 25, 2008
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  • In the wake of the media coverage of the CEO’s of general motors using their private aircraft to fly to Washington and testify to the Senate. What is lost on the conversation are the true benefits private planes provide to our national economy, mainly small towns and communities.

    Some our members have submitted letters to their local papers setting the record straight about the use of general aviation. In the next few days, we will be posting a few of these letters on our blog. Below is a letter from Steve Whitney, an Alliance member in Illinois.


    Dear Editor:

    Your November 21 article, “For many CEO’s private jets the only way to fly,” offered much to think about. While we may decry the excess and abuse of a few big corporate executives, we mustn’t lose sight of the tremendous contribution General Aviation as a whole makes to our national economy.

    In addition to corporate aircraft, GA includes small businesses, farmers, agricultural groups, local cities and towns, charitable organizations like “Angel-Flight” and over 5,000 small and mid-sized airports. These grounds provide millions in economic in economic benefits to our economy as well as thousands of jobs to hard-working Americans across the country.

    So it’s not just about corporate CEOs. Millions of hard-working families depend on General Aviation to put bread of their tables.

    General Aviation is a lifeline to small business, small towns and rural communities all across America. Fully 85% of companies which use airplanes are small to mid-sized businesses. Most companies have one small aircraft, seating four to six people, flying relatively short trips to places which lack airline service, using local community airports.

    General Aviation drives economic growth. Just ask municipal economic development officials in most cities, and they’ll tell you how aviation leads business growth. In these days of recession and unemployment, we need every tool we have to grow our local economies and provide high-wage jobs. General Aviation has always done just that.

    So, while you may scoff at the “Big Three,” remember what GA really is, and the very real benefits the GA sector produces.


    Steve Whitney

    Glenview, IL