|General Aviation News|
Rhetoric Against GA Continues
Feb 14, 2013
By Charles Spence
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Money continues to be the topic
dominating the conversations and actions here as the President, Congress, and
businesses, including aviation groups, face a series of challenges.
The federal debt is passing $16.5 trillion and increasing at
the rate of $3.2 million a day. The President wants more taxes to slow it.
That’s one spot where aviation groups differ with him. They also differ with
his proposals to assess a fee on all flights using Air Traffic Control services
and a reduction on the depreciation schedule for general aviation and business
Officials from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association
(GAMA), National Business Aircraft Association (NBAA), and Aircraft Owners and
Pilots Association (AOPA) came out fighting after Jay Carney, the White House
press secretary, commented about closing “loopholes” for items like corporate
Craig Fuller, president and CEO of AOPA said: “AOPA is very
disappointed in the Obama Administration’s endless attempts to lengthen the
depreciation schedule for business aircraft. At a time of widespread concern
over job creation in this country, we feel it is short-sighted to put further
financial burdens on an industry that contributes positively to our nation’s
balance of trade, and one that supports highly skilled, good-paying jobs.”
“Once again,” said Pete Bunce, president and CEO of GAMA,
“the Obama Administration is starting the drumbeat that we could end all the
fiscal challenges our nation faces by changing the depreciation schedule for
general aviation and business aviation from five to seven years. Their rhetoric
is wrong and all it does is hurt general aviation companies and workers across
“Purchasers of jets, turboprops, rotorcraft, and piston
aircraft didn’t create the country’s misfortune, but contributes more than $150
billion to the economy annually and employ more than 1.2 million people,” he
Ed Bolen, president and CEO of NBAA, said the White House
rhetoric about general aviation depreciation ignores established facts and
long-standing tax policies related to business aircraft ownership and use.
Noting changes to the depreciation schedule for GA aircraft would not yield
meaningful progress toward reducing the national debt, Bolen added it has the
potential to harm a great American industry.
Business jets are used by government officials. A report
from the General Accounting Office shows that for fiscal year 2002 the federal
government spent $289.9 million operating its aircraft. All cabinets in the
administration have their own business jets. In that year 15,545 flight hours
were racked up by business jets operated by the Departments of Agriculture,
Commerce, Energy, Justice, State, Interior, Treasury, Transportation, National
Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Science Foundation, and
Tennessee Valley Authority.
The President’s business jets are two Boeing 747-200Bs
operating as “Air Force One.” Cost to fly these on presidential business trips
is $180,000 an hour. The recent extra vacation trip to Hawaii taken by the
president in his business jet cost taxpayers $3 million. This business jet has
also been used on local hops. One example is a 90-mile trip from Washington,
D.C., to Richmond, Virginia.
Many in aviation are puzzled by the confusing positions of
the President, who recognizes the value of aircraft for conducting government
business while at the same time proposing raising taxes on individuals and
companies that find business and personal aircraft of distinct value.
The issue is sure to continue.
No Plane No Gain: Sampling of 2010 Coverage
Since the launch of the No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign, a concerted effort has been made to deliver the message about the importance of business aviation through national and local news outlets. This sampling of national and local television coverage in 2010, highlights the campaign's effectiveness in communicating the industry's importance.
NBAA's Bolen on Fox Business Network
Click here to see Ed Bolen, President and CEO of NBAA, in an interview on Fox Business Network
NBAA's Bolen on DC's Newschannel 8
In an interview with Newschannel 8, Bolen explains that "... business aviation is prudent, cost-effective, and oftentimes, the only way to get where you're going."