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NBAA’s Online Advocacy Tools Facilitate Contact With Lawmakers
April 23, 2014
NBAA Member John Gibson recently told fellow Members how his use of the Association’s Contact Congress online tools helped him easily express his views on user fees to one of his elected representatives, saying the benefit of these advocacy tools is that they enable any NBAA Member to immediately identify their lawmakers and send them email or Twitter messages.
Gibson said he felt the need to respond to the Obama administration’s proposal for per-flight user fees. As an aviation consultant, he has been personally affected by aviation’s slow growth following the long recession and feels that aviation user fees would only hamper the fledgling recovery.
“I see positive signs and then, all of a sudden, I see signs of regression,” said Gibson. “People have plans... and then they get cold feet.”
On April 8, Gibson posted on NBAA’s Air Mail list for flight department managers a portion of a reply he received from Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA).
“As you know, President Obama released his fiscal year 2015 budget proposal to Congress on March 4, 2014. Included in his proposal is a $100 per-flight surcharge for air traffic services,” wrote Cantwell. “As chairwoman of the Senate Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety and Security, I will continue to strongly advocate for the general aviation community. I support efforts to improve awareness of the vital role of general aviation in our national economy. Please be assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind should I have the opportunity to consider this issue in the future.”
Gibson said, “I would urge any of you who haven’t sent your representatives letters using the NBAA links to do so. It only takes a couple of minutes.”
Jason Wolf, NBAA’s director of Internet communications, also urges Members to make more use of the email and Twitter tools to make their views heard.
“If you are a Twitter user, the NBAA process can help format tweets that mention your elected officials by username so they notice the post, and link to NBAA resources that explain why per-flight user fees are bad for America,” Wolf said. “If you’re not on Twitter, you can use the process that submits your message as an email to your elected officials, through their online systems to collect constituent messages. Both options really do attract attention.”
As part of his advocacy efforts, Gibson has also met his state Sen. Jim Honeyford at a local function organized to discuss state taxes on aviation.
“Get involved,” Gibson advised. “Even if you only get a form letter reply, just stay on it. I feel that I have had some success, in my small way, just by interacting with these folks.”