May 4, 2009

At a recent panel discussion among Washington’s aviation industry leaders, NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen emphasized that through a shared commitment and now a growing partnership between all segments of the aviation, full modernization of the nation’s air transportation system could finally become a reality. Bolen’s comments came while speaking at the 8th Annual Aviation Summit hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in the nation’s capital.

“The general aviation community has been a tireless advocate for modernization of the aviation system,” said Bolen. “And, every industry segment represented here today knows that accelerating the transition to NextGen will advance important national objectives like expanding system capacity and reducing congestion, reducing long-term costs to the FAA, enhancing safety and even reducing the industry’s environmental footprint. We come together recognizing that a unified industry presents a great opportunity to make that a reality.”

Bolen highlighted the business aviation community’s long-standing commitment to modernization and explained why it is so important for the many thousands of companies across the country that rely on a general aviation airplane (GA) as part of doing business. When airports become congested general aviation aircraft are the first to be pushed out of the facilities, and into tertiary airports. Modernization will help extend the capacity of the aviation system, helping preserve access for general aviation to airports and airspace.

Bolen also detailed the technological advancements the general aviation community has supported, which boost the aviation system’s capacity and efficiency of use.

“We were early adopters of GPS navigation systems,” Bolen noted. “We were also supporters of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast [ADS-B], a technology that is now the cornerstone of the modernization effort. Just as we have supported forward-looking technologies, we will continue to support forward-thinking policies for achieving our shared goal of leading the world in aviation.”

Bolen also emphasized that business aviation remains committed to working with Congress and the Administration to complete an FAA reauthorization bill that ensures the U.S. aviation system remains the world’s largest, safest, and most efficient. To do that, Bolen reiterated that modernization should be funded through the proven, efficient fuel tax.

Bolen concurred with the other panelists that aggressive industry communication about the value of aviation to our nation’s economy is critical to making modernization a reality.

“All great economies in the history of the world have achieved greatness because of mobility,” stated Bolen. “In these difficult economic times, everyone in the industry must work together to ensure that mobility is understood to be a national priority.