By AOPA ePublishing staff
The hearing was about airline delays during the holiday season. But two congressmen clearly had something to get off their chests.
"Get off GA's back," Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.) told the airlines. The airlines were represented by Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson and JetBlue CEO David Barger. They testified before the House aviation subcommittee on Nov. 15.
Said Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa), "It irritates me to see in the publication in the pockets of your seats the distortion of...general aviation," referring to anti-general aviation editorials in airline publications and e-mails to customers.
"So quit it," Boswell said. "You don't make any mention of the taxation on fuel and the other things that general aviation pays. I'm going to continue to support you because I know that you're extremely important to our economy.... But come on, let's do what is right."
He reminded the airline chiefs that some of their best customers are also GA pilots and aircraft owners.
Rep. Ehlers pointed out that the "pilot in the GA cockpit may be one of your pilots some day." He noted that the military will be training fewer pilots, so general aviation "is going to be your source of pilots in the future. Just remember that."
November 15, 2007