Washington, DC, February 13, 2009 –National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen recently met with Congressional lawmakers to discuss the concerns of the general aviation community over the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA’s) proposed Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP).
Rep. Sam Graves (R-6-MO), had invited Bolen and other industry association representatives to talk with Members of Congress about the impact the TSA’s controversial LASP proposal could have on small and mid-size companies across the country that rely on aircraft as part of doing business. Rep. Tom Petri (R-6-WI), Ranking Minority Member of the House Aviation Subcommittee, Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-4-KS), and Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-3-GA), Member of the House Aviation Subcommittee, were also present at the roundtable.
“We wanted to make our concerns known to Members of Congress, and they have been very receptive,” Bolen said. “They understand the value of business aviation to small companies trying to do more with less in this challenging economy.”
During their meeting, Bolen and Rep. Graves agreed that, if left unchanged, the TSA’s proposal would be devastating for businesses of all types, as well as for the communities relying on their local airports.
“This could have a great impact on small communities and rural America,” said Rep. Graves. “When businesses are looking at coming into a small town, one of their main questions is ‘Where is your airport?’ Not having a good airport is an absolute deal-breaker for companies.”
Graves added that airports are a source of revenue for rural America. As an example, he pointed to the Experimental Aircraft Association’s (EAA’s) yearly EAA AirVenture event in Oshkosh, WI – the nearby airport, Wittman Regional, brings millions of dollars to that community each year. Likewise, the annual CAF Midland Air show, in Midland, TX, brings thousands of dollars to that small community.
Bolen stressed that industry associations – like NBAA, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, the EAA, and the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) – need to be involved in the development of security measures, because those associations can provide government officials with a first-hand understanding of the industry’s unique needs and challenges.
Bolen concluded the meeting by noting that NBAA would continue to raise concerns about the TSA’s LASP among policymakers.
Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association, Inc. (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 8,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention, the world’s largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.
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