7950 Jones Branch Road
McLean, VA 22108-0605

December 16, 2009

Review as published

Your recent story “FAA Low Priorities get $3.5B in Grants,” distorts the truth about small community airports and the value they bring to Americans nationwide. The national network of small community airports represents the backbone of our nation’s aviation system – a network so critical that Congress has long mandated the funding program that you unfairly criticize, as a recognized national priority.

The kinds of projects your story calls into question often support airports in towns with little or no airline service – airports that provide a transportation lifeline for small businesses, schools, universities and other organizations, and serve as regional development engines that generate jobs and economic activity.

Equally important, these small airports are essential for providing air transportation access for postal service, firefighting and disaster relief, medical evacuations, law enforcement, homeland security and military operations, patient and organ transport to emergency centers and other services.

It’s unfortunate that your story overlooked these key facts, and failed to explain the many good reasons why investments in community airports provide a tremendous return to us all.

Ed Bolen
President and CEO
National Business Aviation Association