By Joseph Morton
General aviation isn’t just about fat cats zipping around in their own private Learjets.
That’s one message from about two dozen U.S. senators who joined together this week to form the new General Aviation Caucus, led by co-chairmen Mike Johanns, R-Neb., and Mark Begich, D-Alaska.
The meeting was the group’s first. Members include Sens. Ben Nelson, D-Neb.; Tom Harkin, D-Iowa; and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.
Johanns cited the importance of general aviation to commerce and economic development in a state like Nebraska, where he said the industry employs several thousand.
Johanns also said general aviation is important for moving people and goods across the state.
“Our small airports are the lifeblood of what we do,” he said. “We do not have any intrastate commercial air travel. There are no airlines that run flights from Chadron to Lincoln.”
The caucus wants to make sure that the interests of general aviation are taken into consideration as Congress considers legislation related to air transportation.
“We want to make sure it’s not an afterthought,” Johanns said.
Source: OMAHA WORLD HERALD (ASSOCIATED PRESS)