Since Congress spanked the Big 3 automakers for making the trip to D.C. in corporate jets, our firm has been warily watching the news and hoping to see more support forthcoming for private aviation.

We were glad to see William Garvey’s op-ed in the Sunday New York Times. We hope you read it. He presents a sound, reasoned rebuttal.

From the Land of Learjet, Cessna, Hawker Beechcraft, Boeing and Spirit

Our hometown is the Aviation Capital of the World, so, no, we’re not an unbiased source. But we are a knowledgeable one. For much of the past 20 years, we’ve conducted countless interviews with aircraft owners, pilots, directors of flight departments and aircraft mechanics. Attended airshows. Toured completion centers. Art directed photoshoots. Whether creating a feature on the world’s largest flight department (Walmart) or interviewing the CEOs of such global institutions as AIG and E*Trade, our agency has developed an understanding of this unique industry.

Do there need to be safeguards in place? Absolutely.

Do we need private jet travel to stay competitive in our global economy? Absolutely.

Is this industry – one of the few viable manufacturing segments left in the United States – vital to our national well-being? Absolutely.

Then let’s stop the silliness and put the focus where it belongs – getting this economy moving again. And not just on the ground. In the air.

Keep Building on Our Dreams of Flight

Wichita was once home to 16 aircraft manufacturers, six aircraft engine factories, 11 airports and a dozen flying schools. Our community still builds roughly 40 percent of all business aircraft.

We’re talking about more than regional interests, of course. General aviation contributes more than $150 billion to the U.S economy and employs almost 1.3 million workers nationwide. Whether they’re building and maintaining aircraft or flying and managing them, these men and women create value.

Early this year, a Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) reform bill with anti-business jet language began working its way through Congress. Our governor and Kansas legislators quickly voiced concern along with the National Business Aviation and General Aviation Manufacturers associations. The language – which would have barred any TARP-funded company from owning or leasing aircraft – was removed January 14.

Speaking Up Makes a Difference

We need to support and encourage our world-class aviation industry. We cannot stand by and let the naysayers and scapegoaters take down one of the last, best American industries. It’s time to make our collective voices heard. And when you hear someone dissing companies that use private aircraft, help them see the light. Politely, of course. They obviously just don’t know better.

Tell Your Congressperson

To remind Congress of the value of corporate aviation, check out the following link where you can send a personalized letter to your elected representatives. Click here to contact your Congressperson.