Aviation Chief Sees Signs Of Recovery

Business JetsThe aviation industry is recovering from the downturn, National Air Transportation Association president Jim Coyne told attendees at Tuesday’s Wichita Aero Club luncheon.
Fuel sales, used aircraft prices, flight hours and business with fractional ownership companies have risen during the first quarter of 2010, he said.
Coyne expects increases again in the second quarter.
That’s good news, he said. But it will take time for that to translate into new aircraft sales, which lag the rest of the industry.
“It definitely will be a while,” Coyne said.
Corporate profits drive aviation sales.
And businesses still face uncertainty. For one, they are waiting for clarity from Congress about tax policies, he said.
NATA represents about 2,000 general aviation service companies, such as fixed-base operators, charter providers, aircraft management companies, maintenance and repair organizations, and flight training and airline service companies.
Yingling Aviation president Lynn Nichols said after Coyne’s speech that his business validates what Coyne said about an improving aviation industry.
Two leading indicators for Yingling — fuel sales and part sales — are up.
“We’re encouraged,” Nichols said. “It’s been a good solid five months in a row.”
Coyne, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, is a pilot with instrument and multi-engine ratings. He has an undergraduate degree from Yale and an MBA from Harvard University. He served in the White House as a special assistant to President Reagan and as director of the Office of Private Sector Initiatives.
He was named president of NATA in 1994.
“I am fully recovered from my time in Congress,” Coyne quipped. “I went through the 12-step program.”
His “greatest loves in life” are aviation and politics, he said.
A year ago, Coyne wrote President Obama after Obama’s State of the Union address in which he criticized the use of private aircraft by CEOs.
“He took this unnecessary swipe at people who use private jets,” Coyne said.
The comment made the downturn in the business jet industry worse, Coyne said.
In the letter, Coyne told Obama that as president, he would come to appreciate the benefits an airplane would give him.
“It’s a little bit of a stretch to call Air Force One a business aviation airplane,” Coyne said. “But that’s what it is.”
On Sunday, Obama praised the use of the aircraft when he spoke to troops in Afghanistan.
“I’m pleased that he’s figured out what I told him is true,” Coyne said.
In fact, there’s never been a president who has used Air Force One as much as Obama, he said.
Obama is not the only president who uses an aircraft as a critical part of doing business.
Presidents, vice presidents and many other business people of companies and organizations use business aircraft as a “critical” part of their business, Coyne said
Source: http://www.kansas.com/2010/03/31/1248679/aviation-chief-sees-signs-of-recovery.html

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