By Benet Wilson
Almost 70 U.S. mayors sent a letter today to President Barack Obama asking him to speak out to counter the negative press that is hurting the general aviation industry.
In the letter, the mayors noted that jobs have been lost, and an entire sector of the economy has been seriously damaged as a result of GA bashing. “For our communities and those of many small and mid-size towns across the heartland who depend on general aviation, this is very troubling situation,” they wrote. “To make matters worse, nearly 100 cities and towns have lost scheduled airline service in the last several months. General aviation has become that much more important to the economic life of those communities the airlines won’t serve.”
Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer pointed out the region’s status as the aviation capital of the world, during remarks today on a conference call sponsored by the Alliance for Aviation Across America. Brewer, a Democrat, worked at Spirit Aerosystems, Boeing and Cessna before becoming mayor in April 2007.
“As an example, when you look at the overall budget for the state of Kansas, aviation makes up one third of it, and most of that comes out of Wichita,” Brewer noted. “For every aviation job created, it creates another three jobs. And there’s $7.1 billion in economic impact from Kansas because of the aviation industry.”
Comments made by the president about those using private planes were concerning, said Brewer. “Our concern is that President Obama use caution because it has an impact on cities like Wichita,” he stated. “We must sell planes and individuals must have planes to conduct business.”
Mayor Brewer reissued his invitation to President Obama to get a first-hand look at the aviation industry in Wichita. “You can’t imagine how much aviation we have here and how it impacts the world. Once you see it, you will clearly understand,” he stated.
Photo credit: Gulfstream
Source: AVIATION WEEK