Business Aviation Community Reacts to Obama Speech

The general aviation industry responded quickly to a White House press conference on June 29 where U.S. President Barack Obama repeatedly singled out business aviation, calling for an end to “tax breaks” for corporate jet owners. Obama lumped corporate aircraft in with millionaires, billionaires, oil companies and hedge-fund managers as targets for closing “loopholes in the tax code.” The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) pointed to seemingly mixed messages from Obama, noting that only nine months ago, he had extolled the virtues of shortening depreciation schedules to stimulate jobs. NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen stated that the President “seems to want to reverse course and push ahead with punitive treatment for general aviation, an industry that creates jobs, helps companies succeed and serves communities all around America.” Leaders of other general-aviation organizations also weighed in. Matt Zuccaro, president of the Helicopter Association International, stressed that while all the current rhetoric appears to be directed toward “corporate jets,” any change to the depreciation schedule would also apply to pistons, turboprops and rotorcraft.

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