EAA Strongly Supports New GA Congressional Caucus
April 29, 2009 — A general aviation (GA) caucus has been formed to alert and inform members of Congress and their staff about the value of GA to the nation’s economy and transportation system.
EAA member and staunch general aviation supporter Rep. Vernon J. Ehlers (R-MI) and Rep. Allen Boyd (D-FL), acting as committee co-chairs, sent a “Dear Colleague” letter inviting other members of the House of Representatives to join the caucus. The letter outlined the importance of general aviation stating that, of the 19,000 small and regional airports across the country, only 500 have commercial service, making GA the only travel option for many communities.
"The GA industry contributes more than $150 billion to the U.S. economy annually, and it employs nearly 1.3 million workers. In 2008, U.S. general aviation airplane manufacturers delivered over 3,079 airplanes to customers in the United States and abroad. The total value of these aircraft was nearly $13 billion of which 44 percent were exports,” Reps. Ehlers and Boyd wrote. "The GA industry is one of the few remaining U.S. industries that actually maintain a positive foreign trade balance."
The formation of the caucus comes during a period of unprecedented pressure on general aviation from the media, politicians, and national-security interests. Members of the House who have already given their support to the newly formed caucus include Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI), who represents EAA’s home district, and EAA member, pilot, and homebuilder Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO).
“EAA is extremely supportive of this effort and thanks Reps. Ehlers and Boyd and their staff for bringing about this terrific opportunity,” said Doug Macnair, vice president of government relations. “EAA is actively encouraging other members of Congress to participate in this GA caucus and urges EAA members who have good relations with their Congressional representatives to encourage their participation as well.”