What General Aviation Needs: 8 not-so-easy solutions to GA’s woes
When you look across the landscape of General Aviation it becomes apparent that there are some challenges.
I took the liberty of writing down a short list of pain-points for you perusal (not in any specific order).
1. We need airplanes that are inexpensive to purchase and fly
In my opinion, this won’t happen until one key development is solidified – electric flight. If we can develop a 200 mph 4 seaters that can run on electrons, the cost of flying will go down exponentially. These electric birds also need to be less expensive to produce than our current dinosaur-burners.
2. More accessibility
More and better access to airports and training facilities. Many airports are like fortresses. Plus the FBOs aren’t super-friendly so we have some work to do in that department. (related article here)
3. Fewer restrictions
The whole user fee issue just makes my blood boil. How is it that our current fuel tax isn’t a user fee already? Why would do we need a standalone fee? It will be a huge waste of money, make our system less safe, and drive folks away from flying. (related article here)
Also no 3rd class medical. This is in work and I feel like this can have a really positive impact on GA. The less barriers for entry, the more folks participate – simple. Also we’ll retain more of our current population. Continue reading
According to Aero-New Network, “Air Force II Won’t Be Ferrying The Vice President Home For Weekends. VP Joe Biden says that he’ll once again be taking the train home to Delaware from Washington for the weekends now that the sequester has grounded Air Force II from weekend trips. But he does not seem to be too upset about it.”
I say good! I try to avoid politics on the blog, but I can’t hold back. Our current government has been systematically breaking down one of America’s best industries – general aviation.
Although, Obama and his cabinet have been particular caustic about us, sequestration turns this into a bipartisan effort. How badly that will hurt general aviation is yet to be determined as it almost impossible to tell fact from fiction with all the political rhetoric being bandied about.
One thing we have already seen is a swift pull-up by the military, as noted by the VP’s inconvenience of not getting to use his corporate jet for his trip weekend personal trips home to Delaware. The Thunderbirds, Blue Angles and all the demo teams have suspended their performances this year, which will cause wide-spread airshow cancellations since the big jet acts are often the main attraction. So many air show performers and associated support personnel will have to find part-time jobs at Wal-Mart to make ends meet. And all those airshow crowds that might be inspired to fly will retreat to the lakes and golf courses for their Summer entertainment.
I get it, if we are too broke to put these birds into the air then fine; we shouldn’t spend money we don’t have. But, I don’t want us using the money to buy cell phones for crackheads either.
Just goes to show you that we need to get some qualified people with some common sense into our elected positions if this country is going stay viable. Nuff said!
I will steer clear of politics on this blog, but no matter your political affiliation, this kind of rhetoric is damaging to aviation as a whole.
Below from AvWeb:
In last week’s presidential debate, President Obama said people who operate business jets shouldn’t be entitled to an accelerated-depreciation tax break. “My attitude is, if you got a corporate jet, you can probably afford to pay full freight, not get a special break for it,” President Obama said. Jack Pelton, former Cessna CEO, was quick to respond with a letter to Carl Brewer, the mayor of Wichita, Kan. “We cannot continue to be reflected by the President as an industry that is ‘bad,’” Pelton wrote, according to the Wichita Eagle. “If this is the theme for the campaign, you can guarantee Wichita will suffer beyond what we have seen to date.” More than 13,000 aviation workers in Wichita lost their jobs dung the economic downturn.
Ed Bolen, president of NBAA, responded the day after the debate with a letter to the White House. “I’m writing to convey my frustration at your disparaging remarks about our industry during last night’s debate,” Bolen wrote. “Your comments seemed to illustrate a complete lack of understanding about the importance of business aviation in the U.S., and appear to be at odds with your stated interest in promoting job growth, stimulating exports, driving economic recovery and restoring America to its first-place position in manufacturing.” NBAA and other advocates have also protested the administration’s user-fee proposals.
Please comment below. Keep it civil please!