Why the Future of Aviation Matters to You

Apr 26, 2011

Tomorrow, the U.S. Chamber and its public policy think tank, the National Chamber Foundation, will partner to present the 10th Annual Aviation Summit. The forum brings together top experts and leaders from all sectors of aviation to discuss key issues facing the industry, highlight innovations, and forecast what the future holds for the industry. This years’s gathering will feature FAA Administrator J. Randolf Babbitt, James F. Albaugh, president and CEO of Commercial Airplanes at The Boeing Company, and the CEOs of Jet Blue Airways, U.S. Airways, FedEx Express, and Cessna Aircraft Co.

The aviation industry is essential to the health and well-being of our nation’s economy.  According to the FAA Air Traffic Organization, in 2009 commercial aviation fueled $1.2 trillion in U.S. economic activity, contributed $731 billion to GDP, created nearly 11 million U.S. jobs.

Improving and modernizing the air traffic control system and increasing national aviation capacity will be a key topic at this year’s summit. Our skies are getting more crowded; the number of fliers is expected to increase 36% by 2015. To improve safety and bolster U.S. productivity and competitiveness, the federal government must commit the necessary funds to build out the Next Generation Air Traffic Control System (NextGen), assist the aviation community with $3.5 billion to $5 billion in onboard technology improvements to leverage NextGen, and strengthen FAA’s ability to implement the policies, procedures, and technologies necessary for full NextGen implementation.

As Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue has said, “There is no greater priority than economic growth.  Enhancing our transportation infrastructure should be a no brainer.”

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