WASHINGTON, DC, May 14, 2010 – The board of directors of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has recognized two unwavering general aviation (GA) advocates. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Representative Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) were recognized for political careers marked by constant support for GA at a reception on Capitol Hill. Both Dorgan and Ehlers have announced that they will retire at the conclusion of their current terms.
“We owe both of these longtime supporters of general aviation a debt of gratitude,” said GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce. “We are losing two very strong and enthusiastic advocates whose support has brought about real progress on critical issues for our industry. We are thankful that both will continue to enjoy the benefits and excitement of general aviation as they retire from public service.”
As a pilot from a rural state that relies on GA, Dorgan has championed many general aviation issues as chairman of the Senate Aviation Subcommittee including small community airport funding and air traffic control modernization and has defended the industry against user fees. He will retire after six terms in the House of Representatives followed by three terms as a United States Senator.
Congressman Ehlers has served nine terms as the representative from Michigan’s third congressional district. In 2009, Ehlers founded and currently co-chairs the General Aviation Caucus – one of the largest in the House of Representatives. The caucus has provided an invaluable forum for educating members and their staffs about the impact GA has on the U.S. economy and the many critical issues that affect our industry. Congressman Ehlers also serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.