Mayors urge Obama to support aviation

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Updated: May 6, 2009

Around 70 mayors and other officials from the cities across the U.S. are urging President Barack Obama to start a change in perceptions of corporate and private jets, saying that the aviation industry has suffered from negative media coverage.

In a letter to the president, officials from 14 states, including Kansas, said that the aviation industry has struggled as a business with cutbacks from an uncertain economy.

“We must sell planes and we must have individuals have planes,” said Carl Brewer, mayor of Wichita. “Just as individuals need cars to conduct business, corporations have to have planes to conduct business.” 

The letter also noted that the industry suffered from negative publicity surrounding private jets, which the public views as symbols of executive greed amidst dwindling investments, a sagging economy, and uncertain job prospects.

“I want him [Obama] to respond in a positive way when remarks are made about general aviation and I want him to visibly show support for general aviation to keep it strong,” said Steve Van Oort, mayor of Ankeny, Iowa.

The letter also noted that airplane manufacturers have laid off thousands of workers, and that airports, flight schools, and mechanics have been greatly affected.

As explained by the Associated Press: “The officials called on Obama to defend the industry in order to protect the 1.2 million jobs and $150 billion a year in economic output created by the industry. Officials from cities in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia signed the letter.”

 

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