Aviation Industry Eying Stimulus Infusion
A wide-ranging coalition of aviation interests that includes both general aviation and the nation’s airlines has proposed a $4 billion stimulus package that could–among other things–accelerate the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) by creating 100-percent government-funded grants to retrofit both commercial and GA aircraft with NextGen equipment such as on-board avionics, electronic flight bags, cockpit displays, surface moving maps and software upgrades. It is estimated the funding would generate 77,000 jobs. The Obama Administration’s “American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009,” now awaiting congressional action, would provide more than $825 billion for national infrastructure and economic investment projects, including $3 billion for Airport Improvement Projects that could create another 35,000 jobs. Also included is an aircraft bonus depreciation provision that would help stimulate aircraft sales. Already written into the House Ways and Means Committee’s draft version of the stimulus bill, the bonus depreciation would apply to aircraft sold this year and placed into service by the end of 2010.