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Business Aviation And Politics
Politicians of all persuasions agree that transportation is essential for economic growth and enhanced quality of life- observes Jack Olcott. Globalization and rapid advances in communications have accelerated the pace of business- necessitating the role of air travel so that the right person is meeting with the right person at the right time (which often means ASAP).

Business Aviation is an element of air transportation that provides unique benefits aligned with the demands of today’s commerce. Thus it follows that policies affecting Business Aviation should be based on the merits- not patrician politics. Yet the rhetoric surrounding recent proposals to charge departure fees for business jets entering the airspace and to alter depreciation schedules for capital assets such as company aircraft has the strong accent of pitting Republicans against Democrats as the USA approaches its presidential election set for November 6- 2012.

In a positive attempt to alter the conversation and focus on issues that best serve the nation’s interests- lobby organizations such as the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA)- National Air Transportation Association (NATA) and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) have encouraged Members of both houses of Congress to join the General Aviation Caucus of their respective bodies.

(Note: Business Aviation is the use of a General Aviation aircraft for business transportation- thus in fact it is a segment of GA.)

When asked by a member of the NBAA Staff why it is important to have a GA Caucus- Representative John Barrow- a Democrat from Georgia’s 12th District- noted that since Congress does not coordinate its work regarding GA through a committee structure- it is important to have a GA Caucus for such a purpose.

Representative Sam Graves- a Republican from Missouri’s 6th District- emphasized the educational aspects of the GA Caucus. “One of the main purposes-” he said- “ is to get GA’s message out when an issue comes up- and inform members of Congress who might not be as familiar with GA as we are.” Representatives Barrow and Graves co-chair the House General Aviation Caucus.

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