FAA and GA Industry Leaders Agree on VLJ's Impact on the National Airspace System

September 28, 2006

Washington, DC - September 28, 2006 - Appearing today before the Senate Commerce Aviation Subcommittee, leaders from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the general aviation (GA) industry gave testimony on the introduction of very light jets (VLJs) into the national airspace system.

Jack Pelton, Chairman of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), and Chairman, President, and CEO of Cessna Aircraft Company, addressed recent concerns regarding the effects of the introduction of VLJs. He first pointed out that very light jets will not "darken the skies," as many have predicted. "I believe that the VLJ market will develop like that of every other turbine powered GA aircraft, in an evolutionary, rather than revolutionary way," Pelton told the committee. "The introduction of VLJs will be at a rate in which they will be transparently and smoothly absorbed into the system."

Pelton also emphasized that VLJs will not place an undue burden on the air traffic control system or increase congestion at our nation's busiest airports. "Concerns about integrating VLJ operations with other aircraft have been greatly exaggerated. VLJ operators have a powerful incentive to avoid the traffic congestion and delays found at the airports dominated by the airlines," said Pelton. "In the process, VLJs will provide service to many underutilized and neglected markets." These opinions were reinforced through the testimonies of Vern Raburn, President and CEO of Eclipse Aviation, Edward Iacobucci, President and CEO of DayJet Corporation, and Matthew Andersson, Senior Aviation Consultant with CRA International.

FAA officials, Nicholas Sabatini, Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety, and Michael Cirillo, Vice President of Systems Operation Services within the FAA's Air Traffic Organization, agreed. They told the committee that the FAA has the capability to safely introduce all aircraft into the system, no matter the size, speed or performance. "VLJs will be assimilated into the system in an orderly fashion," said Sabatini. Cirillo added, "Major airports will not be inundated with VLJs."

Following the hearing, Pete Bunce, GAMA's President and CEO, noted that today's testimonies highlighted two important points. "The FAA and industry are in lock-step in regards to the introduction of VLJs into the marketplace and through our collaborative and cooperative efforts towards certification, training, and operations, will ensure the safe and methodical introduction of VLJs into the system," said Bunce. "This hearing has also completely discredited the myth propagated by the airlines that VLJs will place an undue burden on the national airspace system."

To read Jack Pelton's entire testimony, click on the following link: http://cessna.com/news/media/Pelton_Speech_9-26-06.pdf.

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