As President Obama made the rounds in Iowa during his Midwestern bus tour earlier this week, hundreds of general aviation advocates gathered in the state to send a political message of their own, one that fought back against the administration’s recent criticism of aviation tax breaks.
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) organized a rally on Wednesday in partnership with Rockwell Collins and Goodrich Corp., two GA companies with operations in Iowa. In addition to the hundreds of workers and state and local officials in attendance, several members of Congress were also present.
Leaders at the rally encouraged aviation workers and advocates to speak out against what GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce calls the Obama administration’s “demonizing” of the aviation industry. They touted the trade surplus and job creation general aviation provides in the United States, and reiterated their desire to work with Congress to ensure a full recovery of the industry.
“In the current economic environment, it is important that we capitalize on the things that are working. Fortunately, you don’t have to look any further than general aviation to find the perfect example,” said Rockwell Collins chairman, president and CEO Clay Jones.
Obama recently triggered a backlash among GA companies and enthusiasts when he suggested that corporate aircraft tax breaks be cut due to the country’s current economic difficulties. His comments called for changes to current tax rules that allow business owners to write-off corporate aircraft over a five-year period.