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"Congressman seeks federal aid for small aviation businesses"



Saturday, December 22, 2001

Simmons seeks federal aid for small aviation businesses 
The Associated Press


MANCHESTER, Conn. (AP) -- U.S. Rep. Robert R. Simmons is seeking federal
money to help small aviation businesses that were excluded from
legislation supporting the airline industry after the terrorist attacks
on Sept. 11. 

The measure would provide $7.5 billion in grants and loans for general
aviation businesses, including $2.5 billion to cover direct losses. 

Todd Mitchell, the Republican congressman's legislative director, has
discussed the proposed bill with aviation businesses in the 2nd
congressional district. 

"Smaller aviation folks didn't qualify under the first airline bailout,"
Mitchell said. "Obviously, there are good reasons why Congress did the
airline bailout first." 

The New London-Groton Airport, Skylark Airport in East Windsor and
Ellington Airport would benefit from the legislation, he said. 

According to Simmons, 41,000 general aviation planes have been grounded,
resulting in more than $400 million in sales losses. 

"General aviation has been one of the forgotten victims of the tragedies
of Sept. 11," Simmons said. "Without help, they may not be around much
longer. Hundreds have already closed their doors and more may follow." 

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will consider the
bill, although a date has not been set for a hearing.


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