18 July 2009

General aviation in the USA responding to criticism

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) in the United States has launched a web site, GA Serves America, to publicise the role of general aviation. Its activities, such as flight training, are vital for the health of the airline industry.

The business aviation sector was hit even harder by the global economic recession than other sectors when US Congressmen and others criticised automobile industry chief executives used their business jets to travel to a hearing in Washington DC about the financial troubles they were facing. The CEOs had appeared at a hearing of the US Senate Banking Committee on 18 November 2008. This was covered in reporting on 19 November 2008 by ABC.

One has to wonder whether the critics even thought of the number of layoffs in the aviation industry that would be caused as a direct consequence of their remarks. One also has to question whether it would be good use of his time for the Ford CEO paid US$28m per year to be standing around in queues for check-in, aviation security and boarding!

Ironically Fox News reported on 18 February 2009 that the US fiscal stimulus package included tax breaks to buy business jets. This is done by allowing accelerated tax depreciation.

There is also a New Zealand AOPA.

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