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Mayors From Seven Different States Respond to President's Comments About General Aviation
July 11, 2011
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    July 11, 2011
    Contact: Aren Ghazarians or Devin Osting – (202) 223-9523

    Mayors from Six Different States Respond to President’s Comments about General Aviation

    Washington, DC- Mayors from six different states across the country today sent a letter to President Obama voicing their disappointment with today’s and other recent comments regarding general aviation and potential, additional tax burdens on businesses, individuals and groups that rely on this crucial form of transportation. The local officials joined a growing group of businesses and organizations that have highlighted the negative repercussions of the President’s comments on an industry which represents an important part of the economy.

    The text of the letter is below:

    July 11, 2011

    The Honorable President Barack Obama
    The White House
    Washington, DC 20500

    Dear Mr. President:

    We write to express our deep concern regarding your recent comments about general aviation, which not only mischaracterized these aircraft and their crucial importance for our economy, but suggested an increased tax burden for general aviation operators. General aviation is a vital part of our economy and national infrastructure, and we are extremely concerned about the repercussions of your statements on an already struggling industry.

    General aviation is an economic engine for our national economy, supporting 1.2 million America jobs, over $150 billion in economic impact annually. These aircraft and the airports they utilize are a literal lifeline to thousands of communities across our nation, providing access to business growth, law enforcement, disaster relief, medical care and other services. They are utilized to train young pilots, reunite veterans back from overseas with their families, help to transport blood and organs to residents in rural communities, and help our companies to reach customers in markets that otherwise could not be reached.

    As you know, the vast majority of businesses and organizations that own and utilize general aviation are not wealthy CEOs. Rather, they are small to mid-sized businesses and organizations that rely on these aircraft to reach far-off plants and customers, serve rural markets without access to commercial aviation, or deliver medical care and other services. We can tell you firsthand that these aircraft are a crucial tool and resource for businesses in our communities; businesses that keep our communities afloat and help workers to be able to continue to put food on their table for their families.

    At such a vulnerable time for our economy, we need to be doing everything we can to support this vital industry. We stand ready to work with you and Members of Congress on this and all issues related to communities and local economies around the nation.


    Mayor Carl Brewer Wichita, Kansas
    Mayor Mary Ann Maynard Stuttgart, Arkansas
    Mayor Steve Van Oort Ankeny, Iowa
    Mayor Matt Bemrich Fort Dodge, Iowa
    Mayor Dick Kirchoff Le Mars, Iowa
    Mayor Robert C. Willey Easton, Maryland
    Mayor Dave McGirr Huron, South Dakota
    Mayor Dave Hahn Wall, South Dakota
    Mayor Margaret Larson Arlington, Washington
    Mayor Bob Goedde Chelan, Washington

    Formed in 2007, the Alliance for Aviation Across America is a non-profit, non-partisan coalition of over 5,700 individuals representing businesses, agricultural groups, FBO’s, small airports, elected officials, charitable organizations, and leading business and aviation groups that support the interest of the general aviation community across various public policy issues.