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NAFI Supports General Aviation Small Aviation Business Relief Act

The National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) has announced its support for the "General Aviation Small Business Relief Act of 2001"-a bill to help remedy the current financial crisis threatening General Aviation (GA) businesses nationwide. 

"We need this shot in the arm as badly as the commercial airlines needed government assistance," said Sean Elliott, President of NAFI, which represents 80,000 Certified Flight Instructors nationwide. "Even after the restoration of GA flight training, our surveys still show that 10% of the active flight instructors in the country are currently out of work. We feel this could worsen, if something isn't done soon."

The "General Aviation Small Business Relief Act of 2001"-introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA)-provides for the following: 

  • The Small Business Administration (SBA) is directed to provide grants to companies equal to the losses incurred as a result of FAA or DOT orders following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
  • One-year, no-interest loans can be made by the SBA to qualified companies that have suffered or are likely to suffer as a result of the terrorist acts, after which normal interest and payment rates are in effect.
  • The Secretary of the Treasury is allowed to extend for 2 or 4 months the due date for certain excise taxes paid by qualifying companies.
  • Flight instructors are the "backbone" of flight training, which is crucial within the infrastructure of general aviation. CFI's train over 60,000 new pilots each year, plus provide quality and safety reinforcement to an estimated 750,000 GA pilots, who require reviews every two years on an ongoing basis.

    "The government has got to do something to help stimulate flight training, and get it back on an even keel long-term," Elliott said.