The board of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) recognized Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.) for their “unwavering” support for general aviation. Both legislators will retire at the conclusion of their current terms.
“We owe both of these longtime supporters of general aviation a debt of gratitude,” said GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce. “We are losing two very strong and enthusiastic advocates whose support has brought about real progress on critical issues for our industry. We are thankful that both will continue to enjoy the benefits and excitement of general aviation as they retire from public service.”
As a pilot from a rural state and chairman of the Senate aviation subcommittee, Sen. Dorgan has championed many general aviation issues, including small community airport funding and air traffic control modernization. He has also defended the industry against user fees. He is retiring after six terms in the House, followed by three terms in the Senate.
Rep. Ehlers, who has served nine terms, founded and currently co-chairs the General Aviation Caucus–one of the largest caucuses in the House. According to GAMA, “The caucus has provided an invaluable forum for educating members and their staffs about the impact GA has on the U.S. economy and the many critical issues that affect our industry.” Ehlers also serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.