March 16, 2018

At the annual Michigan Business Aviation Association (MBAA) Legislative Day, held March 14 in Lansing, featured speaker – NBAA’s Vice President of Government Affairs Christa Lucas – emphasized the importance of the role that the Michigan business aviation community, NBAA members and other key aviation stakeholders in the state played in thwarting proposed federal legislation that would have privatized ATC.

“All your letters, phone calls, emails and tweets to your legislators in Washington made a big difference and contributed to the positive outcome of this battle,” she said. “NBAA is very grateful for all your efforts on this critical issue.”

The proposal by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-9-PA) to remove ATC from the FAA was eliminated late last month from the FAA reauthorization legislation (H.R. 2997).

Lucas told MBAA members and others at the Legislative Day, which is also attended by numerous state lawmakers and their staff, that even though the ATC privatization proposal had been pulled, NBAA was still keeping a close watch on the FAA reauthorization process to ensure that the interests of general aviation were being considered and appropriate programs funded.

At the Michigan event, Lucas also discussed the recently passed tax legislation – the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – that contains key provisions NBAA had advocated for. “The law now allows for 100 percent immediate expensing by the taxpayer of new and used equipment, which will help the general aviation industry grow,” she said.

Lucas also noted that the association will be closely monitoring the administration’s proposals on upgrading the nation’s infrastructure, which includes airports.

Finally, she reminded attendees of the economic impact of general aviation to Michigan – more than $4 billion to the state’s total economic output. According to Lucas, a 2013 PricewaterhouseCoopers study found that general aviation supports 23,300 jobs in Michigan, resulting in about $1.3 billion in labor income.