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NBAA Letter to the Editor: USA Today

November 2, 2009

Letters to the Editor
USA Today
7950 Jones Branch Road
McLean, VA  22108-0605

To the Editor:

Your recent story about federal funding for small public-use airports (“Airports Get $1.1B for Pet Projects,” Nov. 2) completely overlooks the role served by the airports and the communities that rely on them for doing business, providing critically needed public services and other uses.

Our nation’s integrated system of public-use airports is specifically designed to ensure that Americans—including those living in communities that are unable to attract or retain commercial airline service—have at least some access to the air transportation system.  Maintaining this access is critical for wide range of flights including those related to homeland security and law enforcement operations, mail delivery, organ-donor transport, medical evacuations, disaster and emergency relief, business, fire fighting, and other general aviation operations. These missions are not only important to the viability of the communities they serve, they also generate jobs—over 1.2 million jobs in the United States.   

Unfortunately, the vital contributions provided by community airports, and the millions of people who rely on them, were completely missing from your coverage.

Ed Bolen
President and CEO
National Business Aviation Association