Chrysler, GM and Ford executives caused a public and Congressional backlash when they arrived in Washington last year in private jets to plead for a financial bailout from Congress. As a result, Congress planned to place a ban on owning or leasing private aircraft by corporations receiving money from the TARP Bailout Program.
That ban has been described as an over-reaction that could affect the jobs of more than 1,265,000 people employed in the General Aviation Industry. The ban would also lessen the $150 billion dollars the industry adds to the U.S. economy.
Then there was the threat the ban posed to us who aspire to fly for a living. Corporate flight departments employ tens of thousands of pilots in this country. Corporate aviation is one of a few alternatives to flying for an airline, and provides a great career. Those flying jobs would be severely reduced in number by the ban.
The proposed ban caused an immediate reaction from the General Aviation community. Citizens from groups such as Alliance for Aviation Across America began contacting members of Congress in large numbers, demanding that the ban be deleted from TARP. In response, the private aircraft ban was removed yesterday from the TARP Bill by the bill’s author, Representative Barney Frank.