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An Open Letter from NBAA President, Ed Bolen, to the President of the United States

Dear Mr. President,

On behalf of the more than one million people employed in business aviation, I’m writing to convey my frustration at your disparaging remarks about the industry during last night’s debate.

Your comments seemed to discount and ignore the importance of business aviation in the U.S., and appear to be at odds with your stated interest in promoting job growth, stimulating exports, driving economic recovery and restoring America to its first-place position in manufacturing.

Mr. President, in your concluding remarks, you were quick to point to the auto workers you’ve met in Detroit’s manufacturing plants, and you celebrated their role in “helping to build America.” Business aviation workers like those in Wichita, Duluth, Savannah, Columbus, Vero Beach and other American towns deserve your support as well.

In fact, America leads the world in business aircraft manufacturing, which supports countless highly skilled jobs, and is one of the few remaining industries that contributes positively to the nation’s balance of trade. It’s disappointing to know that you’ve chosen to vilify this essential American workforce instead of doing all you can to promote its growth as part of your overall goal of supporting a resurgence of manufacturing in the U.S.

Of course, your negative remarks about business aviation aren’t limited only to the jobs involved in building aircraft, as important as those are. The fact is, business airplanes are mostly used by small and mid-sized companies, which are very often based in places like Moline, IL and Greenwood, MS, where airline service is minimal or non-existent. Having an airplane means the company – and the jobs that come with it – can stay in those small towns.

Mr. President, I know you’ve heard from more than 100 mayors from across the country, who have talked about the importance of business aviation to their economic plans, to the overall health of the nation’s economy and transportation system and to American competitiveness. Please consider promoting, rather than disparaging, business aviation – it’s a great American industry.


Ed Bolen
President and CEO
National Business Aviation Association

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