Advocacy Letters

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Sen. Nelson Extols Value of General Aviation

June 22, 2012

“In a large rural state like Nebraska, if it wasn't for general aviation and the small prop-driven planes many people use to get around, it would make it difficult for many businesses to thrive,” wrote Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) in an editorial last month in the Syracuse Journal-Democrat.

Nelson was inspired to write the editorial, “Planes on the Plains Help Nebraska's Economy Soar,” after attending a general aviation (GA) rally in Lincoln earlier this year, where he met electrical engineers, fuel suppliers, mechanics “and other Nebraskans who are involved in this vital industry.”

Read the full editorial.

Recognizing that the state is served by dozens of small public-use airports, Nelson emphasized that “general aviation is a critical component in Nebraska's infrastructure – and general aviation is an irreplaceable part of Nebraska's economic machinery.” He explained that GA underpins the free movement of people and goods in the Cornhusker State, as well as enabling trade, communication and commerce – all essential to economic growth.

“Our state wouldn't have much of an economy without general aviation,” Nelson wrote. He pointed out that when companies determine where to locate their operations, access to GA is an important consideration. A strong GA infrastructure is also necessary for developing business clusters in growth sectors like high tech and financial services. “General aviation helps Nebraska's businesses grow and remain competitive, and it helps attract new businesses to our state.”

In addition to enhancing the competitiveness of the state's economy and local businesses, Nelson explained, “General aviation provides both urban and rural Nebraska communities with much-needed tax revenue and jobs.” In fact, GA employs tens of thousands of Nebraskans, approximately 1,200 in manufacturing alone, contributing $721 million to the state's economy.

“It just cements the fact that general aviation is inseparable from Nebraska's economic health and vitality,” Nelson concluded. “This is why my commitment to Nebraska aviation has been unwavering.”