In the hours ahead of the State of the Union address, it became clear that jobs and the economy would be key issues in the speech, with the president expected to unveil plans to spur growth. While AOPA welcomed that news, concerns remained over repeated calls for new fees and higher taxes.
“A renewed focus on creating jobs and rebuilding the economy is good news for general aviation and for all American industries,” AOPA President Craig Fuller said Feb. 12 in advance of the State of the Union. “But we hope that, as the president announces more details of his plans in the coming weeks, he will drop proposals to impose higher taxes on aircraft used for business as well as fees for flight operations. Both these measures would curtail general aviation activity, and that will cost jobs, not create them.”
General aviation is responsible for 1.2 million American jobs and $150 billion in economic activity each year. And it is one of the few American manufacturing sectors with a consistently strong export position. But the industry has been hit hard by the slow economy and negative comments about general aviation from the Obama Administration.
“General aviation is a proven economic engine with a strong history of creating jobs. Now that the industry is beginning to recover from the economic challenges of the past few years, we need policies that will support recovery, not thwart it,” Fuller said. “We understand that all of us must do our part to get the economy back on track. We are hopeful the Obama Administration will see that the best way to increase revenue from the general aviation sector is to create an environment that encourages general aviation flying.”