Yesterday, FAA Deputy Administrator Michael Huerta traveled out to Wichita, Kansas--America’s hub of aviation activity--to get a first hand look at the important role general aviation is playing in helping build America’s economy.
In his State of the Union address, President Obama talked about the need to invest in our infrastructure and build business to make sure the United States stays competitive in the global economy.
General aviation supports good paying manufacturing, engineering, research and development jobs. The last two years have been tough for workers across the country--thousands of aviation workers were laid off in Wichita, as aircraft orders dried up.
Today, some of those jobs are starting to come back--which is a good sign for our economy.
Aviation manufacturers like Cessna will also benefit from the tax package President Obama signed last December. This allows companies to expense 100% of eligible capital investments for 2011. As increased Cessna activity indicates, the President's tax package encourages businesses to get off the sidelines and make the investments they might have otherwise put off.
Because when businesses invest, we all benefit.
General aviation helps ferry goods and services all across our country. These aircraft carry medical supplies and mail. In some places general aviation is the only means of transportation for communities.
Safety is also good business and, as all of you know, there is not a higher priority for me and the DOT. I couldn’t be prouder of the fact that the number of general aviation accidents has declined significantly over the last ten years. The FAA has done a terrific job raising the safety standards, and aircraft manufacturers have done their part, too.
Aviation continues to be a major economic and innovation engine in America. And I’m confident that wise investments in our transportation systems will keep the U.S. on the leading edge well into the future.