Letters to Media

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NBAA Letter to the Editor: USA Today

September 17, 2009

Editor - USA Today
7950 Jones Branch Drive
McLean, VA 22108-0605

Your recent, one-sided story about small community airports (“Feds Keep Little Used Airports in Business,” Sept. 17) lacks any sense of balance, and presents a gross misperception of the value of general aviation, public-use airports, federal funding of the air transportation system, and the needs of millions of Americans in communities nationwide.

These community airports serve a vital role for towns with little or no airline service by providing transportation lifelines for small to mid-size businesses, schools, universities and other organizations, and serving as regional development engines that generate jobs and economic activity. This “general aviation” activity – which refers to flights other than the airlines or the military – also helps fund the airports’ operation.

Equally important, these facilities are essential for providing air transportation access for postal service, firefighting and disaster relief, medical evacuations, law enforcement, homeland security and military operations, patient and organ transport to emergency centers and other services. 

In fact, Congress has long recognized that the upkeep of a national system of airports is an established national priority. It’s unfortunate that your story ignored these key facts, and failed to explain the many good reasons why investments in community airports provide a tremendous return.

Ed Bolen
President and CEO
National Business Aviation Association