editorial opinions

Execs and experts speak out on key topic

Pro Pilot staff compilation

Michael Clementi
President & COO,
World Fuels Services

Your industry
needs you

Now, in the wake of the Pres­idential election, is the time to refocus on the many challenges that face our industry.

As new legislators begin the business of governing our country they will face key aviation issues, many of which have remained unresolved for a number of previous administrations.

These issues threaten to affect the fragile economic state of our industry. The future of business and general aviation depends on our ability to work together to meet these challenges.

It is time to rally the cooperative spirit that is deeply rooted in our aviation legacy and stand together to make our voices heard throughout the halls of federal, state and city governments.

We need to re-energize our efforts to assist industry organizations, such as NBAA, NATA, AOPA, GAMA, and other groups at a local level. We need to work together to support equitable solutions to the challenges that face our industry—including the looming threat of sequestration here in the US—to preserve our ability to remain competitive in a global marketplace.

There have been few times in our history when our industry has faced so many complex challenges. The good news is that we have a vast talent pool and an extensive number of industry groups focused on addressing these challenges on a regional, national and global basis.

NBAA has done a good job of helping to facilitate the joint effort of multiple industry groups, but we need to step up the coordination. This is why we applaud the announcement by the NBAA Local & Regional Group Subcommittee, chaired by Don Hitch, to enhance its collaboration efforts.

The committee's plan to provide additional tools for sharing ideas and resources between industry groups will help improve efficiency and bring more focus on key issues.

NATA is another organization that has been very active in pushing for more appropriate legislation. Its efforts are supported by a number of regional organizations, such as New York Aviation Management Association.

These organizations are also in need of our increased support. And let's not forget the groups supporting the airports, such as Airports Council Intl and the American Association of Airport Executives. We need to recognize that working within our industry provides a better framework for developing the right compromises for the difficult challenges we all face.

Now is the right time for all of us to get more involved. I strongly encourage you to increase your interaction with local and national industry groups and their efforts. If we don't educate our airport executives and elected officials, we cannot blame them for poor decisionmaking.

Unity is the key to our industry's future. Our industry, especially FBOs and airports, needs strong partners to foster growth and success. At the individual operator level, nothing can outshine having a strong partner.

Let's extend that spirit of partnership to industry groups and work together to make our industry stronger. In many ways, the future depends on us.


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