September 28, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a pilot with over 10,000 flight hours, today joined the newly-formed Senate General Aviation Caucus. The caucus, co-chaired by U.S. Sens. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), is designed to better coordinate and highlight the priorities of the aviation community.
Upon joining the caucus, Inhofe said, “As a pilot and longtime friend of the general aviation community, I am extremely pleased by the formation of the Senate General Aviation Caucus. Many significant issues affecting the GA community will be debated this Congress, and the formation of this caucus should assure the aviation community that they have advocates in the United States Senate. I’d like to thank Senators Begich and Johanns for their leadership, and look forward to working closely with them on issues that are important to general aviation.”
The goal of the caucus is to work with pilots, aircraft owners, the aviation industry, and relevant government agencies to ensure a safe and vibrant environment exists for General Aviation (GA) in America.
“In Alaska, many of our communities are not accessible by roads and we rely on aircraft as a primary mode of transportation,” Begich said. “General aviation is an important industry in our state, and I am pleased to co-chair this caucus with Sen. Johanns.”
“General Aviation is a critical part of Nebraska’s transportation infrastructure. It helps keep our state connected, supports economic development, and helps our businesses operate efficiently,” Johanns said. “I welcome this opportunity to work with Senator Begich.”
There are over 220,000 GA aircraft and 650,000 certified pilots in the country. General Aviation contributes significantly to local economies in many states, generating over $150 billion annually with 1.3 million American jobs directly tied to the industry. The GA Caucus will hold its first meeting later this fall.