The following is a statement by National Air Transportation Association (NATA) President Gary Dempsey and Chief Operating Officer Tim Obitts following the selection of Representative Sam Graves to serve as Ranking Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in the 116th Congress:
“On behalf of the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) and our 2,300 member companies across the country, we applaud the selection of Representative Sam Graves to serve as the Ranking Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in the 116th
Congress. Congressman Graves is a true friend to NATA and the general aviation community, and we look forward to working with a leader who not only understands our industry’s needs and issues, but is also a passionate advocate for the general aviation community nationwide," stated NATA President Gary Dempsey.
"Throughout his time on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Congressman Graves has long advocated for the interests of the aviation business community by supporting FAA reform to improve our aviation system, addressing the pilot and mechanic shortages affecting the industry, and assisting small and rural airports to make investments to support general aviation transportation across the country. Congressman Graves also serves as co-Chairman of the powerful General Aviation Caucus which educates Members of Congress and their staffs on the importance of general aviation to the nation’s economy and transportation system," noted Dempsey.
NATA’s Chief Operating Officer Tim Obitts added, “As former Chairman of the House Small Business Committee, Congressman Graves understands the needs of small businesses and their impacts on rural communities across the country. A vast majority of NATA’s membership are small businesses and as the aviation business community faces a shortage of skilled pilots and mechanics, smaller aviation businesses are finding it harder to maintain business due to the gap between supply and demand. To have a small businessman and an accomplished general aviation pilot help steer such an important committee, while ensuring the best interests for small businesses, will be a true asset for general aviation in the new Congress.”
In 2014, Congressman Graves received NATA’s highest honor, the William A. “Bill” Ong Memorial Award, for his extraordinary achievement and extended meritorious service to the general aviation industry.
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The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) has been the voice of aviation business for 80 years. Representing nearly 3,700 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.