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NAFI President Urges Congressional Support

October 8, 2001

The Honorable Thomas Petri
U.S. House of Representatives
2462 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington DC 20515

Dear Representative Petri:

Recently, H.R. 3007, the "General Aviation Small Business Relief Act of 2001" was introduced on the House floor. As the President of the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI), I would like to strongly urge you to support this bill as it will provide the necessary support that the flight schools and flight instruction-related businesses so badly needed in this country at present time. 

NAFI is the association that represents nearly 80,000 flight instructors nationwide. Our members range from flight instructors who independently train students to the chief flight instructors at our nation's largest aviation universities. NAFI is an affiliate of the Experimental Aircraft Association and is co-headquartered in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Our industry is in a state of crisis not at all unlike the present situation of the airlines. Between dealing with the restrictions that have kept much of general aviation grounded over the past four weeks and a very shaken general aviation flight training customer base, the flight instructor community is reeling from economic hardships. NAFI recently surveyed its membership to determine just how critical the situation has become. The results show a significant amount of layoffs and bankruptcy with 10% of those surveyed already reporting being laid-off. Many more are on the verge of folding their business due to the lack of activity and limited returning customers. In addition, most flight school managers are reporting a minimum recovery time of six months, after significant realignment. 

Flight training is a key part of the general aviation infrastructure. Your support of this bill will help Congress provide much needed relief to the many flight training and other small aviation businesses throughout the country that are currently searching for ways to survive the financial hardships resulting from the September 11 tragedy. 

For additional background on the impact of the current crisis in general aviation flight training, please do not hesitate to contact NAFI. 


Sean E. Elliott
President, National Association of Flight Instructors