BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH ELECTED OFFICIALS

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Why Build a Relationship, and How to Begin

Get to Know the Issues

Become knowledgeable about the major issues affecting your local airport and the overall general aviation industry. Utilize NBAA's continuously updated web site at www.nbaa.org for issues affecting the entire industry. NBAA's web site also provides specific talking points on business aviation and all active legislative issues affecting our industry. NBAA's staff is always available to help, whether you have questions that need to be addressed or require additional information on specific topics. In addition to the government affairs staff in Washington, NBAA has a regional program including seven regional representatives located throughout the country. For more information on the regional program, visit www.nbaa.org/regional.

Become Active in Your Local Community

Start by developing a long-term working relationship with your airport director. Offer assistance with community-related projects the local airport may be undertaking. For instance, many airports host elected representatives or their staff for tours of the airport or for constituent meetings on-site. If you are able and it is appropriate, offer assistance with these tours, or provide meeting space for officials. On the other hand, if you discover your airport does not promote activities such as these, encourage your airport to host educational tours and town hall meetings to highlight the important role general aviation plays in your local community.

Meet With All of Your Elected Officials

At least once a year, meet with your local, state and federal officials or their staff. It is important that you establish a working relationship with each of your elected officials, so that they know you and the issues that are important to you. As a constituent, your voice is the most important to these legislators and is the best way to educate them about the benefits of general aviation. These individuals make important policy decisions that can directly affect you and your business. In addition, your elected officials generally have local offices, so it is not always necessary to travel to the state capital or Washington to meet with your representatives.

Be Your Own Best Advocate

General aviation is vital to businesses in communities large and small. However, don't assume that your community knows how important business aviation is to the local economy. Share with your local leaders the benefits of business aviation and encourage them to help you promote business aviation wherever possible. Building community allies is vital to communicating the industry's contributions to local communities and the national economy.

Did You Know?

  • Civil aviation contributed over $900 billion and 11 million jobs to the U.S. economy in 2000, at least 9 percent of the total U.S. gross domestic product.
  • General aviation's annual economic contribution is $150 billion to the United States national economy.
  • General aviation employs over 1.265 million people, and provides more than $53 billion in annual net wages.
  • The national aviation system comprises 5,200 airports, of which approximately 500 have commercial service, making general aviation the economic lifeline for thousands of communities. In addition, these airports are critical to:
    • Air transportation
    • Emergency preparedness and response
    • National defense
    • Medical emergencies
    • Postal service
    • Check hauling
    • Agricultural support

To learn more useful facts about business aviation, visit the web site of No Plane No Gain, a joint undertaking of NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, located at www.NoPlaneNoGain.org.