During Congress’s August Break, NBAA Works Grassroots Events

Contacts: Dan Hubbard, (202) 783-9360, dhubbard@nbaa.org

Washington, DC, August 14, 2013 –  As congressional leaders have been in their home states during an annual summer break in Congress, their schedules often feature sessions for hearing directly from constituents, including those in the aviation community – and as with previous summers, representatives from the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) have been making it a point to be a part of those and other grassroots advocacy events.

For example, at an Aug. 13 “roundtable” held in Sioux Falls, SD, NBAA Director of Legislative Affairs Dick Doubrava joined Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and other industry stakeholders to discuss the vital economic importance of all general aviation (GA), including business aviation, to the Mount Rushmore State.

“It is always nice to listen to the perspectives of those directly involved in the issues,” Thune said. “Hearing from them further reinforces that general aviation and community airports are a great resource to South Dakota and to the country, providing business opportunities and protecting public safety. With my work on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, I look forward to a continued partnership with aviation stakeholders and local leaders to best support this vital asset.”

“We at NBAA were delighted and honored to participate in this discussion,” said Doubrava. “Sen. Thune, who serves on the Senate GA Caucus, has been a strong supporter of the industry in his position on the Senate Commerce Committee. This meeting provided a welcome opportunity for the people and companies in South Dakota’s GA community to share their perspectives with him, and to highlight the significant presence the industry has in the state.”

The facts support Doubrava’s assessment. According to the Alliance for Aviation Across America, South Dakota is home to 72 public-use airports, serving 2,247 pilots and 1,024 general aviation aircraft. According to figures cited by the alliance, the aviation industry as a whole supports more than 7,000 jobs and $250 million in wages throughout the state.

The Aug. 13 meeting in South Dakota came directly on the heels of an Aug. 12 “GA Rally” in Albuquerque, NM. Three NBAA representatives, including NBAA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, Lisa Piccione, participated in the Albuquerque event which was organized by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA).

At the New Mexico event, Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), Gov. Susana Martinez and Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry all provided first-hand testimonials about the value GA provides to the state.

“It’s clear that New Mexico’s senator and governor, and Albuquerque’s mayor, all understand the importance of business aviation in the state,” Piccione said following the event. “With vast distances between many communities in New Mexico, general aviation is often the only practical way for businesses to quickly access the destinations they need to reach, in the state and in markets across the U.S. and around the world.”

Piccione’s observations about the importance of GA in New Mexico are backed up by available data. The Alliance for Aviation Across America reports that general aviation in New Mexico contributes $761 million to New Mexico’s economy. The state is home to 21 charter flight companies, 21 airport repair stations, and 40 fixed-based operators. San Juan College in Farmington, NM is a member of the University Aviation Association.

The South Dakota and New Mexico events this week were just the latest among the stops NBAA representatives have been making this summer to participate in advocacy events that promote all of general aviation, including business aviation. In recent weeks, other stops have included Las Vegas, NV, Chicago, IL and Tarkio, MO.

 To learn more about the benefits of business aviation visit NoPlaneNoGain.org.

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Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The Association represents more than 9,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, the world’s largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.

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