WASHINGTON D.C. — Transportation drives economies and aviation drives transportation, Ed Bolen, president and CEO of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), told an audience here, adding that all groups in aviation need each other and must keep focused on the goals to achieve the benefits not only for the United States but for world economies.
“No segment of aviation can succeed unless we all succeed,” he told an audience of leaders in the Washington aviation community at a luncheon of the Aero Club of Washington. “We all need each other.” He said aviation groups here are working more together and need to keep focused on the shared goals. Like any family, aviation groups will have differences, said he, noting it is important to speak as one voice. He added that in recent years groups have been working more closely together and that this must continue.
“Through history great economies and great countries have been defined by their transportation systems,” he said, citing the Roman Empire in olden days and the development of the Ford assembling manufacturing system and their effect on advancements.
In the 21st century America’s economy and world position will be defined by transportation and the key mode will be aviation, airlines, general aviation, military, and all the sub-segments of each, he said.
Bolen named five priorities that all aviation has to work together on. First is completion of FAA reauthorization. “Nothing can be accomplished when there is no consistent financing.” National Security is the second and, although aviation has taken security more seriously than any place in the world, aviation can’t do it alone and security is an issue for everyone. Reducing aircraft emissions is a third priority. Aviation takes this very seriously, he said, and has put up a sustained record of reducing emissions and “this progress must continue.” A fourth priority is making sure it is recognized that government investments in aviation are not a handout to the industry as taxes on aviation feed into the aviation trust fund, but a robust general fund will ensure health of the system for years to come. Finally, Bolen said government-industry collaboration is needed to assure that the movement of our ground-based navigation system to digital is accomplished as soon as possible.
In response to a question from General Aviation News, Bolen said one of the challenges is to find ways to advance airport development. China is building 10 major airports a year, he said, and with eight out of the 10 busiest airports in the world in the U.S. — and growth predicted — the U.S. needs to find ways to advance development.
He closed by saying: “Two miles of waterway takes you two miles, two miles of road takes you two mile, two miles of rail takes you two miles, but two miles of runway takes you any place in the world.”