Manufacturers to give LaHood a look at GA

March 17, 2011

Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will gain a better understanding of the importance of general aviation on March 21 at a GA rally in Wichita, Kan., with Cessna, Bombardier Learjet, Hawker Beechcraft, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), and other aviation companies. AOPA also will be on hand for the event.

“It’s important for Secretary LaHood to see firsthand how general aviation creates jobs, fuels the economy, supports businesses of all types, and connects communities,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. “I am pleased that he will have the opportunity to see some of the outstanding aircraft that are being produced here in the United States and to hear from the people whose commitment to quality and innovation has supported this homegrown industry through difficult economic times.”

In addition, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), and Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) will be in attendance. Brownback, previously a U.S. senator for the state and member of the GA Caucus, has been a vocal proponent for the value of GA. Pompeo is a member of the House GA Caucus. Moran also was a member of the House GA Caucus in the last Congress.

More than 2,000 employees from the major manufacturers are expected to attend the rally at Cessna’s corporate headquarters. GAMA, which is hosting the rally with Cessna, will broadcast the event live online for the entire aviation industry to take part.

“The GA industry contributes more than $7 billion to the Kansas economy each year,” GAMA said, adding that the GA manufacturing facilities in Wichita played a large role in achieving that figure. After the rally, LaHood will tour Cessna’s facilities.