National Air Transportation Association (NATA) Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs Eric Byer testified before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Aviation this week to discuss emergency measures that Congress can take to assist the struggling aviation industry.
The Republican leaders of the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and Aviation Subcommittee leaders, Representatives John Mica (R-Fla.) and Tom Petri (R-Wis.), convened the roundtable discussion. Representatives were present from commercial, regional and cargo airlines, general aviation, airports, aviation businesses, and repair stations, as well as aviation financial analysts, for a critical examination of the state of the industry and potential congressional initiatives to address the problems.
“With record losses and record layoffs in aviation, some in Congress have advocated re-regulation of the industry based on its staggering losses and cuts in essential air service,” Mica stated.
NATA’s representative advocated for positive reinforcement for our nation’s public-use airports, general aviation businesses, aircraft and pilots. Byer highlighted some of the things Congress has done lately to boost aviation manufacturing and jobs, such as the recently introduced legislation by Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.), H.R. 3844, that would extend bonus depreciation for non-commercial aircraft.
“Congress must make passage of FAA Reauthorization legislation a priority to advance NextGen, which will ultimately allow our aviation system to advance by allowing more infrastructure to create jobs in the manufacturing and avionics sector of the industry,” Byer said.
“Much more can be done — we need all 50 states to support their public-use airports actively, both through legislation and public relations,” he continued. “Due to the positive effect general aviation has on the ability to conduct business, almost every state in the nation operates general aviation aircraft. We ask these states to stand up and support what they have learned firsthand, that general aviation serves America.”
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