Governors from Oklahoma and New Hampshire Call on President Obama to Protect General Aviation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 26, 2012
Contact: Devin Osting (AAAA) 202-223-9523
Aaron Cooper (Governor Mary Fallin) 405-521-2342
Colin Manning (Governor John H. Lynch) 603-271-2121
Washington, DC – Today, the Alliance for Aviation Across America announced that Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and New Hampshire Governor John H. Lynch both recently sent letters to President Obama calling on the Administration to recognize the vital importance of general aviation for the economy and communities around the nation. The release of the letters comes following recent reports that the Administration is likely pursuing a “user fee” tax on these aircraft, which would be extremely harmful to businesses, organizations and individuals across the country that rely on general aviation, as well as the general aviation manufacturing industry as a whole.
Governor John Lynch of New Hampshire specifically stated in his letter to the President: “General aviation has been hit hard by the economic downturn. General aviation aircraft and the airports they use represent a critical link to emergency services, economic opportunity and global markets. It is important that this infrastructure remain in place and that we maintain it at a level that allows it to operate safely and efficiently.” The industry represents 1.2 million jobs and approximately $150 billion in economic impact.
The industry has recently seen thousands of lay-offs as a result of the economic downturn and an increasingly negative environment toward general aviation. In fact, 85% of the companies that rely on general aviation are small- to mid-sized businesses that use these aircraft to reach plants, markets and customers in other regions of the state or country. These businesses would be decimated by a proposed user fee, which would result in an increased tax and huge administrative burden on businesses, farms and organizations that are already struggling as a result of the economic downturn. General aviation operators currently pay into the air transportation system through a fuel tax, which is simple, efficient and easy-to-use.
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin specifically highlighted the need to protect this industry against burdensome taxes which may further harm the industry and impact the economy: “Putting our nation’s financial house in order must remain the top priority in Washington at this time. However, doing so through new tax burdens on a critical sector of our economy will do more economic harm than good and put thousands of jobs at risk. For this reason, I oppose the imposition of new “user fee” taxes on general aviation aircraft operators in any form.”
The bi-partisan pair of Governors join a growing list of state and local officials that have highlighted the need to protect general aviation. In September, over 70 mayors from 44 states sent a letter to President Obama, denouncing recent attacks on general aviation, and calling on the President to highlight the importance of the industry for communities around the country. In addition, 36 states around the country have passed proclamations recognizing the importance of general aviation to the economy and local communities. Additional information on the economic importance of general aviation can be found here.
To read the letter from Governor Mary Fallin to President Obama,click here.
To read the letter from Governor John H. Lynch to President Obama,click here.
Formed in 2007, the Alliance for Aviation Across America is a non-profit, non-partisan coalition of over 5,700 individuals representing businesses, agricultural groups, FBO’s, small airports, elected officials, charitable organizations, and leading business and aviation groups that support the interest of the general aviation community across various public policy issues.