April 1, 2010

Dozens of state aviation officials were the latest to hear from the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) about the value of business aviation to citizens, companies and communities across the U.S.

Pete Bunce, GAMA President and CEO, and Lisa Piccione, NBAA Senior VP Government Relations emphasized the critical role business aviation plays in the nation’s economy and transportation system in presentations each gave to an annual Legislative Conference of the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), held in Washington, DC on March 30.

NBAA and GAMA have been articulating the many benefits of business aviation for more than a year, through the No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign. The initiative is targeted primarily to policymakers and opinion leaders, so the presentations from Bunce and Piccione were well suited to a Washington gathering of aviation policymakers from across the country.

“NBAA and GAMA are on Capitol Hill day in and day out promoting the message of the No Plane No Gain program,” Piccione noted. “But our advocacy work doesn’t stop there – it’s also important to speak to decision-makers from outside the Beltway, so that they can echo our message when their talking with Members of Congress while here.”

In her presentation, Piccione showcased how policy leaders at the federal, state and local levels had recently echoed No Plane No Gain messaging. As examples, she cited comments from Members of Congress and state leaders in video clips featuring their comments on business aviation value. Her presentation also detailed the outpouring of support the business aviation community had recently provided for disaster-relief efforts to help the victims of the January 12 earthquake that struck the island nation of Haiti. Piccione pointed to news coverage from across the country – including articles, photos, and video coverage – that has shown the public how donated business airplanes transported 3,800 medical personnel and others and almost one and a half million pounds of equipment and supplies.

The presentation from GAMA’s Bunce detailed some of the steps GAMA, NBAA and other general aviation groups had taken to help support “GA’s re-awakening,” including initiatives undertaken through No Plane No Gain.
Bunce pointed to the studies and surveys commissioned by the campaign, which put forward the true face of business aviation, and explain how it helps companies of all sizes, all across the U.S., be more efficient, productive and successful. Bunce highlighted other important advocacy initiatives, including an event in Arkansas, where the state’s top elected officials championed the value of general aviation, including business aviation, to the state’s economy and job base.

NASAO CEO Henry Ogrodzinski applauded Bunce and Piccione for participating in the event. State aviation directors, he noted, have been keenly aware of the ill effects that recent bashing of business flying have had on their communities. “So when Lisa and Pete showed them the results of NBAA and GAMA‘s No Plane No Gain campaign, there was enthusiastic response,” he said.