In challenging times, aviation provides vital service and needs vital help
A column in USA TODAY mischaracterized a charter company, and the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on many companies like it (“Trump didn’t drain the swamp. Now Biden may drown him in it,” May 21, USATODAY.com).
Customers rely on these aircraft to boost employee efficiency and productivity. But, with travel at a standstill, flights have fallen to a trickle. Air-taxi providers therefore requested aid for the same reason countless other small businesses did: to keep employees on the job.
So it is with Clay Lacy Aviation. Founded more than 50 years ago by distinguished military pilot Clay Lacy, this family-owned business is a cornerstone of the local community and provides jobs for more than 500 line workers, technicians, customer-service representatives, facility managers and other professionals, in the local area and beyond. This organization also supports aviation scholarships for countless students.
Clay Lacy Aviation — and the community-based companies like it, spread across all 50 states — are a critical part of business aviation, which supports more than one million jobs and $247 billion in economic activity. As our country grapples with the COVID-19 crisis, airplanes are flying medicines, specimens and testing supplies to patients in need and other critical missions.
The failure of any of these businesses will deal a serious blow to the ability of American companies and communities to connect with one another, to foster business success and to provide critically needed transport in times of crisis.
Tim Obitts; Arlington, Va.
President and CEO, National Air Transportation Association
Ed Bolen; Bethesda, Md.
President and CEO, National Business Aviation Association
VA hears its employees ‘loud and clear’
It was unfortunate to see USA TODAY’s June 3 column sweep aside the teamwork the Department of Veterans Affairs displayed while protecting thousands of Veterans and hundreds of non-Veterans from the Coronavirus in some of the hardest hit states (“Coronavirus: As America reopens, Veterans Affairs must not make the same mistakes twice,” USATODAY.com).
The authors’ chief complaint seems to be that VA leadership isn’t listening to its employees. But we heard them loud and clear.
We heard a VA nurse practitioner in Wisconsin, who worried about carrying the virus back to his family but went to work anyway because, “we rise up to the occasion. We fulfill our duty.”