August 7, 2014

Rep. Todd Rokita (R-4-IN) has always been a strong advocate for general aviation, including business aviation, and as Congress begins its summer recess, Rokita continues his public support of the industry.

On Aug. 4, Rokita posted a blog on his website titled, “Helping General Aviation Take Off,” in which he wrote about the importance of general aviation to his state’s economy, and the U.S. economy as a whole.

“General Aviation is a homegrown American industry that is responsible for 1.2 million jobs and pumps more than $150 billion into our nation’s economy,” he wrote. “But it’s also an industry that could do much more to create jobs, boost our economy and contribute to our national transportation system. “

Rokita, a member of the House GA Caucus, goes on to discuss the “antiquated regulatory system” that is hindering general aviation, and the need for change. He noted that some relief came from the Small Airplane Revitalization Act, which passed in 2013.

“Our latest effort to spur growth and protect the general aviation industry is to expand the third-class medical light sport exemption to general aviation,” Rokita said. “It is one example of an old, well-intended rule that needs to be updated. In short, the Third Class Medical forces aviators to repeatedly undergo expensive and inconvenient medical exams that produce no meaningful assessment of an aviator’s fitness to fly.”

To combat this, Rokita, along with Rep. Sam Graves (R-6-MO), introduced the General Aviation Pilot Protection Act to expand the already-successful light sport aviator medical standard to apply to general aviators that fly for recreation or private transportation.

“The General Aviation Pilot Protection Act, at its core, is a bill about jobs,” according to Rokita. “And perhaps more important to the GA community, it is meant to protect a way of life that we all believe in.”

Earlier this summer, Rokita held a roundtable on general aviation in Lafayette, IN, where he discussed the positive economic benefits of general aviation, and again noted the need for regulation reform.

“We have to look at aviation not as an expensive hobby for the rich, but as something that generates jobs that can really elevate the local economics all over the state of Indiana,” he told a local television station.

View a YouTube clip of media coverage of Rokita’s town hall meeting.

“NBAA salutes Rep. Rokita for his ongoing efforts to bring attention to the importance of general aviation to this country,” said NBAA Vice President, Government Affairs Dick Doubrava. “General aviation, including business aviation, is a vital U.S. industry and we need lawmakers like Rep. Rokita to keep these issues in front of Congress.”