2012 Press Releases

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NBAA, Other Groups Gather to 'Celebrate' General Aviation's Value in Alaska

Contact: Dan Hubbard, (202) 783-9360, dhubbard@nbaa.org

Washington, DC, September 18, 2012 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) this week joined with general aviation (GA) advocacy group leaders, a U.S. senator, state aviation policymakers and local aviation supporters to highlight the importance of all general aviation (GA), including business aviation, in Alaska.

The event, titled “A Celebration of General Aviation,” was held Sept. 17 at the Signature Flight Support Center on Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. It was organized by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), with support from NBAA, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and the National Air Transportation Association.

“The scale of many things in Alaska can be difficult to imagine, and that’s the case for general aviation, an essential industry in the state,” NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen told an enthusiastic crowd of nearly 200 in attendance at the event. “The industry’s size, its diversity and the many ways it is valued cannot be overstated, and that’s the central message of the No Plane No Gain program,” Bolen said, referring to the advocacy campaign jointly sponsored by NBAA and GAMA.

Bolen noted that the two associations’ campaign highlights the industry’s role in supporting jobs, providing a transportation lifeline for communities, helping companies succeed and supporting humanitarian outreach – all critical services in Alaska.

That message was conveyed throughout the event, which began with a video highlighting the many ways general aviation serves Alaska; as one example, the video included compelling footage showing GA aircraft delivering food and mail to towns across the state, over 80 percent of which are not accessible by road.    

Sen. Begich (D-AK) also championed aviation, calling it “the lifeblood of Alaska,” which is home to more pilots per capita than anywhere else in the United States. He added that the industry’s importance in his state, and a host of others across the country, was the central reason for the formation of the Senate General Aviation Caucus, which Begich co-chairs. He reported that the caucus today includes 39 senators, making it one of the largest, most active and most effective caucuses in the Senate.

Referring to a key policy challenge confronting the industry, Begich strongly criticized the $100 per-flight user fee proposed by the Obama administration in its annual federal spending proposal earlier this year. 

Also speaking was Marc Luiken, a commissioner with the Alaska Department of Transportation, who unveiled a new proclamation by Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell proclaiming September 2012 as General Aviation Appreciation Month in the state. The 2012 proclamation is similar to one issued by Parnell in 2010.  

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Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The Association represents more than 9,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention, the world's largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.

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