NBAA: TARP Language Could Harm GA Industry

 - January 13, 2009, 10:42 AM

NBAA is fighting to eliminate from a bill to reform the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) wording that would “require divestment of private aircraft or leases.” TARP was passed by Congress in October to acquire banks’ troubled assets in an effort to unfreeze the credit market. The proposal regarding business airplanes was introduced on Friday by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. “Congress may be trying to bolster the economy, but enactment of this provision will put the jobs of tens of thousands of hard-working Americans at risk,” NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen said. “This could devastate the small businesses that fuel and service general aviation airplanes, further harm the manufacturers who are already laying off workers and slowing assembly lines, and take away a tool from companies that need general aviation airplanes.” In fact, Cessna Aircraft announced yesterday that it will lay off 2,000 employees in March, and Hawker Beechcraft last Thursday said it is planning more layoffs. “We understand the importance of providing American taxpayers with strong assurances that federal monies are being utilized to protect jobs, rescue troubled assets and provide structural reforms,” Bolen said, “but Congress needs to craft the legislation so that it doesn’t harm this critical industry.” Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) today filed an amendment with the House Committee on Rules that would remove the private-aircraft language from TARP legislation.