House Caucus Grows, Adds 100th Member
The NBAA said Thursday it applauds the continuing momentum enjoyed by Congressional House and Senate General Aviation (GA) Caucuses, as demonstrated by recent developments among both groups. In recent months, lawmakers have formed the caucuses in support of all general aviation, including business aviation.
The Senate GA Caucus formally launched Thursday with 22 members, or nearly a quarter of the Senate, in a Capitol Hill meeting attended by representatives from NBAA and other general aviation groups and hosted by Sens. Mark Begich (D-AK) and Mike Johanns (R-NE), who serve as the caucus chairs. On the other side of Capitol Hill, the House GA Caucus, formed in April 2009 and chaired by Reps. Vernon J. Ehlers (R-3-MI) and Allen Boyd (D-2-FL), added its 100th member this week.
“The continued growth of these caucuses underscores the recognition by Congress that general aviation creates jobs, provides a transportation lifeline to communities across the country, helps businesses succeed and supports people and communities in times of crisis,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “We are delighted to work with House and Senate Caucus Members to highlight the essential role that general aviation, including business aviation, plays in every state and Congressional District.”
Similar sentiments were expressed by the Alliance for Aviation Across America. “In communities across the nation, local airfields and small aircraft often provide the best and most efficient means of transportation,” said Executive Director, Selena Shilad. “Small aircraft and airports used by businesses, farmers and individuals are a vital tool to bring emergency services such as transportation to medical facilities, search and rescue support and firefighting assistance to our citizens.”
Local airfields are centers of economic activity; they bring millions of dollars annually to rural communities and allow small businesses, and the jobs they create, to stay in these areas. The GA community also contributes more than $150 billion to the U.S. economy annually and employs 1.2 million workers. Additionally, General Aviation also provides a vital link for farmers, businesses and communities to larger cities and markets around the world.
“More than ever, GA continues to provide communities with access to medical care, economic opportunity and emergency evacuation, as well as a host of other vital services and resources,” added Shilad. “We commend Senators Begich and Johanns for forming the GA Caucus in the Senate and urge all Senators to join this important new organization.”
The formation of both caucuses comes as NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association continue to advocate for the business aviation community through the No Plane No Gain initiative, which underscores the essential role of business aviation in America today.