The Government Shutdown and Business Aviation

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NBAA: FAA Registry Shutdown Threatens Lifeblood of GA

October 7, 2013

Listen to an NBAA Flight Plan podcast on the shutdown on the FAA’s Aircraft Registry.

NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen Friday issued a call to action, asking Members to immediately contact their representatives in government and demand the reopening of the FAA Aircraft Registry, based in Oklahoma City, OK.

With the FAA’s Aircraft Registry deemed “non-essential” in the government shutdown that began October 1, no one can buy or sell an aircraft in the U.S. until the government is back in business.

“Imagine if no new cars or trucks could be purchased for the duration of the shutdown. This is significant for our industry. Aircraft transactions are the lifeblood of general aviation,” said Bolen. “I’ve heard from a number of dealers and brokers from around the country – small, one – and two-person operations, minority-owned businesses that are calling and saying, ‘We have no revenue coming in the door unless and until that registry in Oklahoma is reopened.’”

During the last government shutdown, which lasted 28 days in 1995 and 1996, the registry remained open.

“The impact back then was therefore less significant,” Bolen said. “But this time, there’s an immediate effect. This shutdown is putting livelihoods at stake.”

Not only are aircraft sales impacted, he said, but the registry is fundamental to title and lien searches.

“This affects all kinds of businesses,” Bolen added. “We’re talking about financing jobs, training jobs as well as broker-dealer jobs. It’s critical to our manufacturing base, our exports and thousands of small businesses.”

Bolen’s call to action for NBAA Members followed an open letter he earlier sent to President Obama and Congressional Leaders to urge the Administration and Congress to quickly find a way to end the shutdown, or at a minimum conduct a re-evaluation of the criteria for excepted employees Earlier in the week, Bolen detailed the dire consequences the shutdown was having for business aviation at House Small Business Committee roundtable focusing on challenges facing the general aviation community.

As the Association’s legislative team works to communicate the dire nature of the registry shutdown to lawmakers on Capitol Hill, Bolen asked that NBAA Members also make known their concerns.

“This is absolutely a call to action,” Bolen said. “Write to members of Congress. Use the NBAA Contact Congress tool. Reach out to the White House. We need to get the registry open.”

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