Bizjet Manufacturers Slam Political Climate, Call for Action

Leaders speak out against user fees and depreciation changes.

As business aviation leaders from around the world gathered in Las Vegas this week to kick off NBAA, one resounding theme echoed throughout the convention’s opening day: The Obama Administration’s relentless focus on bizav.

Several company executives took the opportunity to speak out against the administration’s suggestion that user fees and changes to corporate aircraft depreciation rules be implemented to help curb the country’s deficit.

One of those leaders was Bill Boisture, Chairman and CEO of Hawker Beechcraft, who said the administration's targeting of business aviation is creating uncertainty in the market, preventing sales and hindering the growth of jobs.

“The fiscal proposals that are being discussed by this administration are nothing short of irresponsible,” he said.

Another was Gulfstream CEO Larry Flynn, who encouraged those in the industry to advocate for a variety of political measures that could help end some of the uncertainty surrounding bizav and aviation at large, such as long-term funding of the FAA, among others.

Obama triggered a large backlash among pilots earlier this year when he proposed that corporate aircraft tax rules be changed so that depreciation would occur over a seven-year period, not five. Recent word of a potential $100 per flight fee set off another firestorm among aircraft operators and prompted the launch of an online petition against the measure that has gained more than 8,000 votes to date.