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Tue, Mar 01, 2011

Bolen Outlines Set Of Guiding Principles For Aviation's Future

"The 21st Century Will Be Defined By Transportation," NBAA CEO Says

Speaking to a major aviation policy forum in Washington, DC Monday, NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen (pictured) said aviation would be key to defining America's leadership in an increasingly global economy, and outlined five priorities to ensure the industry's continued success. "Throughout history, great economies and great countries have been defined by their transportation systems," Bolen told attendees at a monthly lunch meeting of the Aero Club of Washington.

"In America, the 21st Century will also be defined by transportation, and the key mode will be aviation," he continued. "The fact of the matter is, we are trading and competing in a global marketplace, and aviation remains the fastest and safest way for people from around the world to connect with one another."

In spite of the unparalleled advantages of aviation, Bolen expressed concern that the its potential is being overlooked. "It's been a long time since we opened up a new airport in the United States," he said, noting that in contrast, the Chinese had opened up more than ten airports each year over the past decade. "Looking to the future, we in the aviation community need to work through our differences, find the things that bind us together, and focus on the things galvanize us. That's the only way we are going to ensure that America retains its global leadership in aviation."

Bolen pointed to five priorities in that regard, including:

  • The need to complete reauthorization for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Bolen welcomed the high priority U.S. House and Senate had placed on completing FAA reauthorization in recent months, and re-affirmed the industry's commitment to work with policymakers on passage of a final multi-year legislative package.
  • Preserving security as a national priority. Bolen cited the host of security measures adopted by the industry in recent years, stating: "In the U.S., the aviation community has taken security more seriously than anywhere else in the world. That's because we recognize that security is a national priority, and going forward, that recognition must continue. We can't assume that aviation, or any other single industry, has all the resources needed to address our nation's many security needs and challenges."
  • Continuing progress on reducing aircraft emissions. Bolen noted that, over the course of decades, the industry has demonstrated a clear record of progress on reducing aviation's carbon footprint. "This is an issue we take very seriously," Bolen said, citing ongoing the investments made in alternate fuels, fuel-efficient propulsion systems and other technologies. "Aviation has put up a sustained record of progress on emissions, and we need that progress to continue."
  • Supporting the General Fund for aviation. "Congress has traditionally supported a healthy General Fund for aviation, out of recognition that every American - regardless of whether they get on an airplane or not - benefits from a strong aviation system," Bolen said. "Maintaining a robust General Fund will ensure the health of the system in the years to come, and underscore our nation's emphasis on mobility and commerce."
  • Government-industry collaboration on continued transformation to a "NextGen" aviation system. "NextGen is about taking our ground-based system digital, so that we can enhance safety of the system, and reduce the industry's environmental footprint by using it more efficiently," Bolen observed. "We must ensure that the vision of this system becomes a reality as soon as possible."

"Looking to the future, it's important that our industry give unified focus to these priorities, because all segments of the aviation industry depend on one another," Bolen said. "Equally important - in a global economy that is increasingly competitive - citizens, companies and communities will depend on aviation as never before. After all, two miles of waterway will take a boat two miles; two miles of road will take a car two miles; two miles of railway will take a train two miles. But two miles of runway will take people anywhere in the world."

FMI: www.nbaa.org

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