The Government Shutdown and Business Aviation

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Business Aviation Regional Groups Respond to Shutdown

October 14, 2013

Within days of the federal government shutdown, When the ongoing government shutdown’s dire impact on the business aviation community became clear, regional industry groups nationwide were mobilizing and coordinating their response. From email blasts alerting their members to the impact the shutdown was having on aviation, to encouraging their members to contact their elected representatives, the regional groups demonstrated how effective they can be in advocating for business aviation.

“The regional business aviation group response to the government shutdown has been phenomenal, and it proves what important partners they are to NBAA’s efforts at the national level,” said Steve Hadley, NBAA’s director of regional programs and Southwest regional representative. “By reaching out to their members, who in turn are making their concerns known to their legislators, as well as the news media, the regional groups are complementing and enhancing the response of NBAA to the disastrous effects of the shutdown.”

A good example is in north Texas. “In our area, all of us can feel the impact that the federal government, especially the FAA Aircraft Registry, shutdown is causing,” said Marj Rose, president of the North Texas Business Aviation Association (NTBAA). “Many of our members are aircraft dealers, brokers, or work for a local helicopter manufacturer, and now they cannot conduct the business of buying and selling aircraft because of this shutdown.”

In Georgia, the George Business Aviation Association (GBAA) quickly sprung into action following the shutdown. “We immediately mailed out NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen’s call-for-action email to our membership to ensure they all were up to date on the situation,” said Dave Small, GBAA chairman. “We stressed to our membership that they voice their concerns with their representatives, and let them know that this action has a direct impact on their lives and businesses. We urged them to utilize the NBAA Contact Congress resource, which is easy, fast, and effective.”

Some GBAA members even took to the airwaves, according to Small. “GBAA member Johnny Foster, CEO and president of Ogarajets, was on an Atlanta talk radio station discussing how the government closure has affected the industry,” said Small. “Another member, Marion Epps of Epps Aviation, discussed how 50 percent of her company’s income is based on aircraft sales. This shutdown hits the aviation industry in our wallets.”

In Nevada, the Nevada Business Aviation Association (NVBAA) quickly sent an email blast to the more than 700 individuals on its list. “We sent out direct links to the information and resources on NBAA’s website and encouraged our members to respond,” said Reza Kararmooz, NVBAA president. The effect of the shutdown is also on the agenda for a number of meetings that Karamooz has this upcoming week with Nevada business and community leaders, as well as Nevada congressmen.

The Eastern Regional Helicopter Council (ERHC) – whose members operate in the Northeast – also responded quickly. "Once the government shutdown began, we immediately launched an educational outreach program for our members to help them get the latest news, as well as to understand any potential impacts to the aviation community,” said Michael Philbin, board member and chairman of ERHC.

Other regional business aviation groups, such as the Greater St. Louis Business Aviation Association and the Arizona Business Aviation Association, are getting the word out through their membership lists or posting shutdown information on their websites.

“These are just a few examples of the great efforts made by all of the regional groups to get the message out to our congressional leaders on how essential it is to end the shutdown and get our industry back to work for the benefit of the country,” added Hadley.

For more information, or to report the impact of the government shutdown on your company, contact NBAA's Operation Services Group at ops@nbaa.org.