Tuesday, March 17, 2009
A leader in the aviation industry visited Wichita today. Pete Bunce, the president of the General Aviation Manufacturer’s Association, or GAMA, says that the industry is under attack and he called on all Kansans connected with aviation to fight back.
GAMA represents general aviation manufacturers including the large and smaller Wichita companies. Their job of defending the industry became more difficult this year because of the political onslaughts coming from some politicians and some media reports.
Aircraft makers are baffled by these negative reports because the aviation industry employs about 1.2 million people nationwide. It’s one of the few industries contributing to the country’s balance of trade, yet in recent months, it has become the symbol of corporate excess and the whipping boy for many politicians.
“Last year, over 45% of the revenue generated by aircraft sales by U.S. manufacturers was revenue generated by overseas sales,” said Bunce.
Monday’s delivery of two Cessna business jets to Germany-based Lufthansa is a prime example of Wichita planes being sold abroad.
Bunce also says Washington regulators, including the TSA, threaten private aviation with increased security measures.