In a press conference Wednesday, June 28, President Obama lashed out at “corporate jets” three times in his opening remarks on wanting to increase revenue, citing tax policies on general aviation airplanes as one place to act. GA groups quickly lashed back.
“The president has inexplicably chosen to vilify and mischaracterize business aviation — an industry that is critical for citizens, companies and communities across the U.S. and one that can play a central role in the economic recovery he says he wants to promote,” said Ed Bolen, President and CEO of National Business Aviation Association.
Craig Fuller, president and CEO of Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association was equally disturbed by the comments. “Improper higher taxes on GA aircraft by lengthening depreciation schedules,” he said “is inconsistent both with sound economic principals and with the promise of support made by the President’s own Secretary of Transportation during a speech just a few months ago in Wichita.” He added that businesses use general aviation aircraft of all sizes.
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association and International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers joined in sending to the President a letter of “deep concern” over recent statements questioning the value of corporate aviation. In the letter to Obama, the companies and workers emphasized that while ill-informed criticism of corporate jets and business aviation may appear to some as good politics, in reality it hurts one of the leading manufacturing and export industries in the United States. “This kind of criticism,” the two groups said, “has also led to the layoff of over 20,000 IAM members.”