Though Congress’ plan to purchase new aircraft rightly drew questions from critics, we should not lose sight of the fact that general aviation is a necessary tool for a majority of small to midsize businesses and organizations that require fast, safe and efficient transportation (Aug. 12 Eagle).
The truth is that general aviation is a vital lifeline to small towns and rural communities across the country. Though the commercial airlines serve fewer than 500 cities, general aviation has access to more than 5,000 airports in every state, giving residents access to everything from small businesses to lifesaving medical organizations. All told, general aviation accounts for 1.2 million jobs and $150 billion in annual economic impact nationwide.
Like all of the United States, general aviation is suffering the effects of the economic recession. General aviation manufacturers have had to lay off more than 13,000 workers since November 2008. With general aviation manufacturing being the lifeblood of communities such as Wichita, Little Rock and Savannah, Ga., we cannot let the debate over congressional decisions taint the benefits of this essential American industry.
HENRY M. OGRODZINSKI
President and CEO
National Association of State Aviation Officials
Source: THE WICHITA EAGLE