General Aviation Leaders Air Concerns Met in Washington Town Hall


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A cross-section of general aviation industry leaders aired their key policy concerns in a Washington, D.C. town hall meeting hosted this week by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.).

The meeting drew nearly two dozen leaders from associations, manufacturers, fixed-base operations, corporate flight departments, flight training providers, maintenance companies, educators and members of the legal community, among others. 

The leaders focused on certification and regulatory reform, NextGen implementation and concerns about proposals to segregate the nation’s air traffic control system. “Improvements to the FAA need to be made in order for general aviation to continue in excellence, Pompeo said, “but it is crucial that Congress take a commonsense approach to reforming the FAA in a way that strengthens our entire air transportation system. This means focusing on smart solutions to specific problems and steering clear of Washington’s typical sledge hammer approach to legislating, which only ends up creating more problems than we fix.”

Attendee Russ Meyer, chairman emeritus of Cessna Aircraft, called the proposals for privatization “the most significant threat to the future of general aviation I have seen in over four decades in the industry.”

EAA chairman and CEO Jack Pelton echoed those sentiments. “General aviation is facing a huge challenge and it was encouraging to see that the entire Kansas Congressional delegation getting involved in this fight,” he said.

Other meeting attendees:

  • Scott Ernest – Textron Aviation President and CEO
  • Michael Thacker – Textron Aviation Senior v-p
  • Tom Hendricks – NATA President and CEO
  • Ed Bolen – NBAA President and CEO
  • Jeff Long – Director of Aviation Services at the University of Kansas
  • Lynn Nichols – Yingling Aviation CEO
  • Keith Plumb – Executive AirShare Co-Founder, President and CEO
  • Walter Berry – Berry Companies President and CEO
  • Randy O’Boyle – Ultra Electronics ICE President and CEO
  • Bill King – V-P of Business Development of Cirrus Aircraft
  • Brad Snell – Director of Aviation of The Schwan Food Company
  • Rich Ciaramella – Manager of Flight Operations of Sprint Corporation
  • Kyle Eiserer – General Manager of Atlantic Aviation’s Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport Facility
  • Charles Reagan – Former Chief of Staff to the President of Kansas State University
  • Carl Wolf – V-P of Aviation of Garmin International
  • Kent Jackson – Founder and Managing Partner in the Law Firm of Jackson and Wade
  • Jim Cooling – Founder and Managing Partner in the Law Firm of Cooling and Herbers
  • John and Martha King – Co-Chairmen and Co-Founders of King Schools
  • Elizabeth Dornak – Manager of Flight Operations of DuPont Aviation
  • Richard Shine – CEO and Chief Pilot of the Manitoba Recycling Corporation