Latest News


Thursday, 11 December, 2008

Contact Your U.S. Senators Today! Oppose Private Aircraft Prohibition In The Auto Bailout Bill

 

CONTACT YOUR U.S. SENATORS TODAY!

Oppose Private Aircraft Prohibition In The Auto Bailout Bill

December 11, 2008

What’s at Issue
This week, the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on H.R. 7321, a bill to authorize financial assistance to eligible automobile manufacturers more commonly referred to as the “Auto Bailout Bill.”  This legislation contains a provision that would prohibit the major auto manufacturers from owning or leasing private aircraft. 

After reviewing the language, in consultation with Congressional staff, the association believes that this provision is also intended to preclude the use of commercial on-demand air carriers as well as participation in fractional ownership programs. 


Background
Earlier this month, Congress held a series of hearings to determine whether the Big 3 auto manufacturers, Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler, warrant federal assistance due to each company’s financial struggles.  During one of these hearings, Members of Congress blasted the three testifying CEOs for using private aircraft to travel to the hearings when asking Congress for billions of dollars in federal assistance.  Since those hearings, legislation was drafted to “bailout” these three auto manufacturers that includes the prohibitions described above.


Why It’s Important
Approving the legislation sets a damaging precedent that will detrimentally affect the thousands of small businesses in this country that provide air transportation using general aviation aircraft as well as the small businesses that support these types of operations.  Expressly prohibiting all air travel that is not on a scheduled commercial airline is an unreasonable restriction on the auto industry and any other industry with a diverse rural manufacturing and supplier network.  Most of the automakers’ facilities are located in rural areas, requiring efficient transportation that the airlines, especially as they cut back on routes, can’t provide.  Chartering an aircraft on a government-licensed on-demand air carrier offers corporations unparalleled speed and access at far lower costs than any form of ownership.


What to Do
Contact your two U.S. Senators today and encourage them to oppose H.R. 7321 unless this provision is stripped from the bill.  Points to make when you contact your two U.S. Senators include:
• Approving the legislation with this provision sets a damaging precedent that will detrimentally affect the thousands of small businesses in this country that provide air transportation using general aviation aircraft as well as the small businesses that support these types of operations. 
• Expressly prohibiting all air travel that is not on a scheduled commercial airline is an unreasonable restriction on the auto industry and any other industry with a diverse rural manufacturing and supplier network. 
• Most of the automakers’ facilities are located in rural areas, requiring efficient transportation that the airlines, especially as they cut back on routes, can’t provide.  Chartering an aircraft on a government-licensed on-demand air carrier offers corporations unparalleled speed and access at far lower costs than any form of ownership.
• Consider the more than 1.265 million jobs created by the general aviation industry, many of which are supported by these small aviation businesses and play a critical role in our American economy.  These jobs are placed at significant risk if the federal government bars corporations from using their services. 
• Using legislation intended to save jobs in one sector of the economy that impacts jobs negatively in another, equally important segment is unconscionable.  The aviation businesses represented by NATA will all suffer financially if Congress approves this legislation with its underlying precedent that the use of private aircraft by Corporate America is not acceptable.


How to Contact Your Members of Congress
To identify your two U.S. Senators, including phone number and email information, please visit NATA’s Legislative Action Center by clicking here.

You can also call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask the operator to connect you to your Senator’s office.  Upon being connected to these offices, ask to speak to the staff member handling the auto bailout bill.


NATA Position
While it is regrettable that this month’s Congressional hearings that focused on the use of private aircraft by the Big 3 automakers’ CEOs have tainted an industry that provides an invaluable resource to working America and our economy, NATA strongly encourages Members of Congress to oppose H.R. 7321.  Small aviation businesses are the backbone of the aviation industry, and, especially during these difficult economic times, should not suffer from the unintended consequences of this legislation.

To view the letter sent to all 100 U.S. Senators on this issue, please click here.

To view the press release on this issue, please click here.


Status
The U.S. Senate is slated to consider this legislation later today or tomorrow, December 11 or 12.


Staff Contact: 
Eric R. Byer
Vice President, Government & Industry Affairs
ebyer@nata.aero

To download a copy of this Action Call in PDF, click here.

For general press inquiries, contact Shannon Chambers at 703-298-1347 or schambers@nata.aero

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) has been the voice of aviation business for over 75 years. Representing nearly 2,300 aviation businesses, NATA’s member companies provide a broad range of services to general aviation, the airlines and the military and NATA serves as the public policy group representing the interests of aviation businesses before Congress and the federal agencies.