Throughout his presidency, Barack Obama has repeatedly attacked private jet owners in speeches and comments. Now through the magic of the shutdown, he has the opportunity to attack aircraft owners, manufacturers and sellers more directly. And he is taking that opportunity good and hard.
While Congress debates how to end the government shutdown, Wichita general aviation planemakers, brokers and owners of airplanes can’t complete sales of aircraft because of the closure of a key federal office.
The shutdown is also affecting maintenance and repair facilities and other aviation-related businesses. And those in the aviation industry say the effects will get more painful with each passing day.
Sales of aircraft can’t close because aircraft registrations can no longer be obtained through the Federal Aviation Administration’s Aircraft Registry Branch in Oklahoma City. With the partial shutdown of the FAA, the registry office is closed.
The closure is unprecedented, according to GAMA officials. In previous shutdowns, the registry office was considered an essential function and remained open.
The shutdown is especially troubling because it comes at the start of the busiest time for aircraft deliveries. Traditionally, the last three months of the year account for 35 percent of all annual deliveries, Bunce said.
This closure is similar to the closure of privately managed parks, both because it’s unprecedented and because it strikes at the industries’ busiest times. The damage done now will be felt for a long time to come.
It’s looking less and less like we’re seeing mere Shutdown Theater; instead, it has become Shutdown Porn. Barack Obama seems to be aroused by the power he is wielding, and is seeking ways to express that power in brutal new ways with each passing day. He appears to love inflicting pain on as many Americans as he possibly can.
In a poll of its manufacturing members – which includes Wichita’s three general aviation planemakers – 12 new airplane deliveries scheduled to take place in the first two days of the shutdown were delayed and did not occur, according to GAMA. Over the next couple of weeks, 123 more are scheduled, according to the poll. Those will also be delayed if the registry office is not reopened.
The value of those 135 deliveries is $1.38billion.
AIC Title Service in Oklahoma City, which works with airplane buyers and sellers, is seeing the effects first-hand.
“It means we can’t access the aircraft registry records, which means you can’t do a title search; you can’t file documents,” said Chad Stanford, executive vice president and general counsel of AIC Title Service. “… The show is stopped.”
This is playing out all over the country. In ordinary times, Obama’s arbitrary and capricious flexing of power would remind Americans that it’s a terrible idea to put so much power into one person’s hands. It would remind Americans that our Constitution was set up specifically to rein in such a base person’s baser instincts, and that it includes a mechanism for disciplining such a person.
But are we still in ordinary times?