Reps. Marc Veasey (D-Texas) and Sam Graves (R-Missouri) are returning as co-chairs of the House General Aviation Caucus and have kicked off a membership drive. They recently circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter to encourage their House colleagues to join the effort, underscoring the importance of the industry in the overall economy.
“The GA industry employs over 1.1 million workers and contributes more than $219 billion to the U.S. economy annually,” they said in the letter, adding that U.S. GA manufacturers shipped 1,746 airplanes valued at $11.6 billion in 2018, 39 percent of which involved exports. “In fact, the GA industry is one of the few remaining U.S. manufacturing industries that provide a trade surplus for the U.S,” the lawmakers added.
The caucus was established in 2009 to promote the value of the industry at a time when it faced negative perception issues both on Capitol Hill and in the general public. The caucus has since provided an educational role and fought for key industry issues.
NBAA praised the effort to reignite the caucus and established an online tool that members can use to ask their representatives to join. “Time and again, House GA Caucus members have been among the most effective champions for the general aviation community,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen, adding the caucus represents a diverse group that has a clear understanding of the importance of the industry.