Two Kansas mayors joined 77 mayors in 44 different states in a letter to President Obama expressing concerns about what they deemed “mischaracterization” of general aviation.
“General aviation supports 1.2 million American jobs, over $150 billion in economic impact annually, and is a vital economic engine for our national economy. However, it is also a struggling industry – in just the first six months of 2011, there has been a 15.5 percent drop in general aviation aircraft shipments, and billings for general aviation have dropped 22.3 percent,” the letter reads.
Kansas mayors signing on to the letter include Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer and Clay Center Mayor Jim Thatcher. Elaine Horn, mayor of Sedalia, Mo., also signed the letter.
The mayors told reporters that the general aviation industry provides access to a host of important services and resources including medical care, law enforcement, disaster relief, mail delivery, fire fighting and flight training.
“For thousands of towns and communities like ours around the country, general aviation is a vital part of our economy and national infrastructure, and we are extremely concerned about the repercussions of your statements on this important lifeline to communities around the nation,” the mayors’ letter reads.
General aviation is a major contributor to the Kansas economy, and Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback recently issued a proclamation naming September 2011 the Aviation Centennial.