LEE'S SUMMIT, MO, June 29, 2011 -- On behalf of its membership representing more than 1,300 aviation businesses, Aircraft Electronics Association President Paula Derks took issue with President Barack Obama's criticism of the general aviation industry during his remarks at a White House press conference today.
The president repeatedly made damaging remarks aimed at corporate airplane owners and operators, and he urged Congress to eliminate or reduce tax depreciation schedules for general aviation airplanes, something he agreed to last year as part of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010.
"General aviation employs millions of workers and is one of the few industries providing a trade surplus for the United States," Derks said. "The president's proposed tax changes would adversely impact an industry that is vital to the nation's economic recovery efforts.
"Most businesses that rely on business and general aviation aircraft do so in order to reach small towns and airports with very little airline service. These entrepreneurs seek investment opportunities needed to create job growth. During the past few years, many aircraft owners and operators have deferred or delayed many aircraft and avionics equipment upgrades due to the concern for the economic future of their businesses. The president's comments directly contradict his own efforts to accelerate depreciation schedules last fall in order to help stimulate an industry critical to the nation's overall economy."
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Founded in 1957, the Aircraft Electronics Association represents nearly 1,300 member companies in more than 40 countries, including government-certified international repair stations specializing in maintenance, repair and installation of avionics and electronic systems in general aviation aircraft. The AEA membership also includes manufacturers of avionics equipment, instrument repair facilities, instrument manufacturers, airframe manufacturers, test equipment manufacturers, major distributors, engineers and educational institutions.