Bolen Touts GA’s Positive Trade Balance for U.S.
In testimony yesterday to the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen said the U.S. civil aviation industry remains “one of the strongest positive contributors to the nation’s balance of trade, despite the daunting economic challenges that have confronted the industry in recent years.” Bolen pointed to statistics from GAMA showing that of the 2,015 general aviation aircraft made last year, 1,334 were manufactured in the U.S. and 52 percent–694 aircraft–were sold elsewhere, for an export value of almost $5 billion. This was down from 1,161 aircraft worth almost $6 billion exported in 2008, the peak year for the industry. “We are living in a global marketplace,” Bolen told the six UITC commissioners. “Aviation has the ability to make face-to-face transportation possible in this global marketplace.” Every culture throughout history has valued face-to-face communication, he added, reminding Commissioners that doing face-to-face business in India, Brazil, China, Russia or elsewhere is often possible only by using aviation. Bolen closed his testimony by reminding the commissioners that aviation will be the defining mode of transportation in the 21st century: “Two miles of runway will take an airplane anywhere in the world. That’s our industry.”