NBAA's Letter to White House Defends Bizav

 - January 30, 2009, 2:23 AM

In the wake of political influence that forced Citibank on Tuesday to ditch plans to take delivery this year of a $42 million Dassault Falcon 7X it ordered in 2005, NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen penned a letter to President Obama defending companies’ use of business jets. Citibank, which accepted $45 billion in government loans late last year to avoid collapse, has been vilified by politicians and the media this week over the jet purchase, which was made when the bank was enjoying better times. “While we support the need for wise stewardship of taxpayer dollars, we are deeply concerned about a pattern that seems to be emerging in which policymakers are discouraging and disparaging the use of general aviation for business purposes,” Bolen wrote to Obama. “While the actions may be directed at a certain individual or a certain company, the reality is that a vital U.S. industry is being devastated by the economy, and some of the recent steps by policymakers are adding to the pain and job losses. This has to stop–policymakers need to understand that general aviation is about jobs…[which] are important to the people who perform them and to the companies they work for.” In the letter, Bolen also likened business jets to “an investment in good computer software,” both of which “boost employee efficiency and productivity.”