Over the last week, actions by the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and its membership have reaffirmed the important influence that a professional organization can have in our industry. Testimonies submitted at the national level show how critical it is for business aviation professionals to share expert information and voice their opinions with legislators.
Campaigns for the 2012 elections are well under way. Now is a crucial time for the business aviation industry to ensure that our needs will be met in the incoming administration.XXX On March 28th, Leo McStravick, a senior pilot and operations technical specialist with Gulfstream Aerospace, spoke before the House Aviation Subcommittee in regards to the European Union's proposed Emissions Trading Scheme. He informed the subcommittee that the EU's plan is discriminatory because businesses using general aviation are not eligible for carbon offsets, since they are not defined as "commercial," according to an NBAA release.
In a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the same day, Congressional General Aviation Caucus member, Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS), asked Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner for the White House to “tone down the negative rhetoric about business aviation” in regards to budgetary concerns. With 36 members in the Senate and 120 members in the House alone, the Congressional General Aviation Caucus is one of the largest caucuses Congress. Said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen in a release, "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."
The following day, the NBAA released a statement backing President Obama’s nomination of Michael Huerta to become an FAA administrator. The NBAA urged Huerta’s confirmation, specifically for his work on a Next Generation Air Traffic Control System, “which will produce safety and efficiency gains in America's aviation system.”
In an industry as specialized as business aviation, helping to educate lawmakers on the details of our day-today operations is critical to the health of the industry, its workforce and airways. We’re all aware of the differences between commercial and business aviation, so good legislation should treat these differences accordingly. Business aviation professionals must be aware of legislation impacting our work and participate in professional organizations like the NBAA, that have our interests at heart. We should also be willing to submit testimony and support candidates accordingly. The implication of these actions can have national and even, as in the issue of the EU-ETS, international impact on the way we conduct our business.>
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