Regional Issues

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Regional Representatives Help with Local Aviation Issues

November 15, 2010

NBAA's regional efforts involve work on policies affecting business aviation taxation, airport access and land use, security, aircraft noise and emissions, and other priorities.

To better serve Member companies across the country, NBAA's regional representatives provide a voice and resource for addressing local issues. The representatives are tied into the industry at the local level and are highly knowledgeable about, and able to clearly articulate, the industry's priorities in a given region, state or city.

Recently, these representatives have helped Members deal with onerous tax increases in states from Washington to Florida. They've also helped ensure that the voice of industry is heard when local airport and airspace issues are considered, as evidenced in the recent support they've given local business aviation activists on the dozen Class-B redesign projects in cities nationwide.

"We are here to help Members make their voices heard on issues large and small, whether those issues are under consideration in a small town, a large city or across a whole state," said Dan Burkhart, NBAA regional program director. "We bring the appropriate level of advocacy and action to each issue, with the help of the local business aviation community."

As one recent example, Burkhart, who represents the industry in several Western states, pointed to an effort by city leaders in Anchorage, AK to impose a 100-percent tax increase on more than 1,000 general aviation aircraft based in the city. If passed, the annual tax on a single-engine aircraft, hot air balloons and gliders would jump from $75 annually to $150 each year, and on twin-engine aircraft from $125 to $250 per year.

NBAA joined with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association representatives, the Alaska Airmen's Association, the Alaska Air Carrier's Association to oppose the tax at a public hearing.

NBAA joined the Alaska Airmen's Association, the Alaska Air Carrier's Association and the Aircraft Owners and Pilot's Association in urging Members to oppose the tax at public hearing.

Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan postponed a decision on the tax, after hearing from the advocates, because he wanted to investigate the tax increase and look at other options to increase revenue for the city.

As another example of NBAA's effectiveness in local advocacy, Burkhart recalled concerns raised last April over a proposal from the Washington State Senate to significantly increase taxes on aircraft owners in the state. Following a weeks-long grassroots mobilization effort spearheaded by NBAA, and including other industry stakeholders, the Senate passed an annual spending package without including the tax measure.

"Our Members' calls, emails and letters made an impact," said Kristi Ivey, NBAA's Northwest regional representative. "As a unified group, we were able to reach out to elected officials and educate them about the value of business aviation and the negative effects of the tax."