Piper CEO: World Is Out To Ground General Aviation

 - April 23, 2009, 12:03 PM

While he believes the recession will end soon, Piper Aircraft president and CEO James Bass said the effect of the U.S. government’s “assault” on general aviation will linger much longer. His remarks, made Tuesday at the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla., were a biting criticism of government officials and media outlets that are spreading the off-base message that “private aircraft equal corporate excess…that’s the new equation, and Washington has made it a sound bite that no politician seems able to resist.” Bass dubbed this “general aviation’s demonic age,” adding that “much of the world is out to ground those of us who fly personal and private aircraft.” He termed the current situation a “culture war” and said Washington is vilifying people in aviation and not looking at the facts. According to Bass, businesses that rely on GA aircraft would “come to a halt” if their executives tried to use the airlines to conduct multiple trips on one day. He is urging everyone in the industry to fight back by writing letters to Washington representatives. “We need to be as passionate in our resolve to save our industry as we are in our passion for aviation,” Bass concluded.