Officials from the general aviation industry’s largest trade group were in Wichita on Wednesday to outline a host of issues facing the industry and some of the initiatives the group has launched.
Pete Bunce, president and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, and Brad Mottier, GAMA chairman and GE Aviation executive, were the speakers at the Wichita Aero Club’s March meeting, which was held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport.
Mottier and Bunce said the organization hopes to gain consistent interpretation of regulations across all Federal Aviation Administration aircraft certification offices.
GAMA also will be seeking ways to encourage various countries’ governmental agencies to permit the sale and operation of new aircraft in their territories.
“In many cases, manufacturers are having to do a lot of repeat efforts to get certified,” Bunce said. For example, he said aircraft manufacturers that have had a new airplane certified by one country often must pay another country the full amount of certification costs even though that country is simply validating the work done by the previous country.
Bunce said the group is also working on ways to improve temporary flight restrictions, which serve to temporarily close a section of airspace, such as when the president is traveling. He said the costs of those TFRs can sometimes be “staggering” to fixed-base operators – businesses that provide fuel and other services to aircraft passing through – in areas where a TFR is in effect because it closes off business to them.
He also said the industry must continue to address the imposition of federal user fees on general aviation and to fight the Obama administration’s efforts to repeal accelerated depreciation on business aircraft.
“Changing the depreciation schedule … affects every type of aircraft out there that’s purchased by a business,” Bunce said, adding “it will be devastating” to the industry.