NATA: Candidates need to focus on benefits of general aviation

In advance of tonight’s second presidential debate, officials at the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) are encouraging both President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney to focus on the vital role that aviation plays in the U.S. economy.

President Obama

“The general aviation industry employs 1.3 million people and contributes more than $150 billion to the U.S. economy,” said NATA President and CEO Thomas Hendricks. “It’s important that our leaders recognize the massive job-creating role of general aviation. Aviation is the critical component that connects the U.S. economy and we simply cannot take it for granted or use it for partisan political purposes.”

His comments follow a statement in the first debate by President Obama erroneously implying that general aviation received unfair tax breaks.

“Without question, general aviation pays its fair share of taxes, but clearly both candidates need to focus on the more important issue: Our significant contribution to the U.S. economy,” continued Hendricks. “When the U.S. economy comes roaring back, general aviation is going to be playing an important role in the front lines.”

Mitt Romney

“I am hopeful that as both candidates participate in (the) town hall debate, they will take the opportunity to highlight the invaluable services that the general aviation community provides to the U.S. and global economy now and moving forward,” concluded Hendricks.

NATA is the voice of aviation business and is the public policy group representing the interests of aviation businesses before the Congress and federal agencies. NATA represents aviation businesses both large and small, with 30 percent employing twenty employees or less. NATA members provide fuel, pilot training, maintenance and other critical aviation services.

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