Don Weishuhn is the Vice President of AMcomm Telecommunications Inc. and a member of the Alliance for Aviation Across America.
Small aircraft help generate $4B in economic activity
For my company, AMcomm, based in the White Lake area, we epitomize the old adage that time is money. Our company, which has been in business for over 24 years, provides a multitude of voice, video and data infrastructure and public utility construction services to telephone and cable providers, government agencies, school districts, municipalities and businesses in Michigan and throughout the country. AMcomm specializes in the construction of copper, coaxial and fiber optic wide area and local networks for cable television and Internet access. We are known as a “one stop shop” for both aerial and underground construction projects, and provide all aspects of the industry needs. Meeting our client’s needs quickly and effectively is critical to our ongoing business success.
To that end, owning and operating my own aircraft has become an invaluable asset for my company. I am responsible for managing multiple construction projects here in Michigan and outside the state. The plane helps me quickly reach job sites and ensure that our installations are running on schedule. It also allows me to quickly meet with our clients to discuss these projects, and to easily reach our various offices around Michigan. Long story short, having my own plane provides unmatched flexibility and efficiency.
Mine is not the only story like this — all around our state, small aircraft and the businesses that depend on them and the airports they serve account for over $4 billion in economic output and over 23,000 jobs. And, general aviation’s benefits extend beyond business. Law enforcement personnel, firefighters and local health organizations depend greatly on the use of helicopters and other general aviation aircraft for medical evacuations and disaster relief.
Unfortunately, many are not aware of the value of general aviation to our communities. For example, the President’s most recent budget proposal singled out the industry by changing the depreciation schedule for the purchase of a business aircraft, and in the past, some in DC have suggested harmful taxes and fees on general aviation that would disproportionately impact businesses like mine across the state and the country.
Fortunately, many of our elected officials recognize the importance of general aviation. This past September, Gov. Rick Snyder recognized Michigan’s local airports, flight schools, aircraft manufacturers and pilots in a statewide proclamation, and the local cities of Bellaire, Caro, Port Huron and Clare as well as Saginaw County have all passed proclamations recognizing the value of general aviation this past year.
These are great steps in the right direction, I hope we can build on them and continue to emphasize the importance of this valuable form of transportation.