Infrastructure Investment’s Impact on Industry and Innovation

A Capitol View 

Here at NATA, our focus on Capitol Hill remains clear: to work for policies that help you, our members, operate safe and successful aviation businesses; to continuously express the value of your contributions in providing community access and supporting economic growth; to tell the story of our industry’s vital role in enabling emergency response efforts; and to provide important links between our members and their legislators.

Spend enough time in our nation’s Capital, and you’ll start to notice the perennial issues that emerge for debate year after year, decade after decade—taxes, social issues, health care, and immigration immediately come to mind. This summer, however, a single topic has seemed to dominate the news out of Washington, and its potential impact on aviation businesses is vast—infrastructure. 

Recent Democratic and Republican presidents alike have set goals to invest in the maintenance and modernization of our nation’s physical infrastructure, yet a clear path forward on the funding and focus of related legislation has remained elusive. Now that a single party occupies the White House and both chambers of Congress, the time seems ripe for a major federal investment in infrastructure across the country. Indeed, few topics have been discussed as frequently and with as much fervor in the current session of Congress. 

Despite the apparent consensus that now is the time to maintain, modernize, and rehaul our nation’s infrastructure, division reigns supreme over everything from the definition of infrastructure itself to the specific projects and programs that merit such an investment—to say nothing of the attached price tag. And it’s not just division between the two parties. Division within the party ranks coupled with a razor thin Democratic majority in Congress leaves little room for error if a bill is to reach the President’s desk. 

As you’ll see in this edition of the Aviation Business Journal, the current infrastructure debate touches upon not only the challenges facing aviation businesses, but the opportunities for growth and innovation that await our industry, as well. Whether it’s strengthening the physical infrastructure that enables general aviation airports and operators to provide crucial disaster relief, investing in human infrastructure to attract and train the next generation of aviation professionals, leveraging partnerships between public agencies and private entities to modernize and expand aviation facilities, or investing in green technologies to meet our industry’s sustainability goals, the current infrastructure debate in Congress will affect the general aviation industry for years to come. 

Here at NATA, our focus on Capitol Hill remains clear: to work for policies that help you, our members, operate safe and successful aviation businesses; to continuously express the value of your contributions in providing community access and supporting economic growth; to tell the story of our industry’s vital role in enabling emergency response efforts; and to provide important links between our members and their legislators. Though the timeline for Congressional votes on pending infrastructure legislation is still in flux as this magazine goes to print, we continue to advocate for much needed investment in general aviation facilities, workforce development, sustainable aviation fuel, and green technologies to help build an even brighter and cleaner future for our industry and our communities. 

As you face both challenges and opportunities within your own operations, please know that NATA is here to help. If you have questions or concerns about the impact of federal, state, or local legislation on your business, please contact me at khuggard@nata.aero or (571) 384-0970. 

Karen Mineau Huggard, Managing Director of Legislative Affairs and Industry Relations, NATA

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Welcome to the Aviation Business Journal, the official publication of the National Air Transportation Association (NATA).

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