The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today announced that Tom Buffenbarger, international president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), will be a featured speaker at the Opening General Session for NBAA’s 62nd Annual Meeting & Convention (NBAA2009).
The IAM is among the largest industrial trade unions in North America, representing nearly 700,000 active and retired members in dozens of industries, including workers employed in business aircraft manufacture. In his capacity as president, Buffenbarger often relies on a Learjet 60, built by IAM members in Wichita, KS, to meet his transportation needs.
“As NBAA Members know, business aviation helps generate over one million jobs, many of which are in aircraft manufacturing,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “We are excited that Tom Buffenbarger will speak at our Convention, because he can speak not only to the value of the business aviation manufacturing sector to the nation´s economic interest, but also to the essential role IAM’s airplane serves in increasing the union’s effectiveness and decreasing its costs. We look forward to hearing his perspectives on the importance of business aviation as both a job base for our country, and a productivity multiplier for organizations like his.”
“Few industries are as critical to the nation’s economic well-being as the business aviation industry,” said Buffenbarger. “Each successive generation of aircraft is driven by technologies and innovations that directly and indirectly support millions of jobs and the kind of high value economic activity which we simply cannot afford to lose.”
The role of business aviation in supporting 1.2 million jobs in the U.S. is a central theme of the No Plane No Gain campaign, which is jointly sponsored by NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. Buffenbarger and other Convention speakers will highlight the messages put forward by No Plane No Gain to educate policymakers and opinion leaders about the many ways business aviation serves citizens, companies and communities across America.
Buffenbarger invited President Obama to visit Wichita to see first-hand the importance of the business aviation industry when the two met at the AFL-CIO’s annual convention in Pittsburgh, PA.
Joining Buffenbarger for the Convention’s Opening General Session will be golf legend and esteemed businessman Arnold Palmer, who relies on his Cessna Citation X to conduct business from his hometown of Latrobe, PA; Forbes Magazine publisher Rich Karlgaard, who owns and pilots a Cirrus SR22 for business; and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator and veteran pilot J. Randolph “Randy” Babbitt.