The U.S. House of Representatives has removed a provision requiring the divestiture of private aircraft and imposing limits on future aircraft ownership by businesses receiving federal bailout funds through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The amendment striking the language from the bill followed concerns from numerous aviation organizations, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and lawmakers from aviation-dependent states, including Kansas. General aviation contributes more than $150 billion to the U.S. economy annually and employs more than 1,265,000 people—jobs and revenue that could be lost if major corporations were forbidden to use GA as a condition of receiving federal relief funds. The full House has yet to vote on the bill.
“While the intent of this specific measure targeted the use of TARP funds, it did not recognize the potential harm to vital services, small businesses and communities that rely on general aviation aircraft every day,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. “These aircraft serve as a vital link to the air transportation system and we remain concerned about the mis-perception about aircraft and are committed to help lawmakers and the public understand the importance and value of general aviation.”