Todd Duncan Opens GAMA Rally in Lincoln, Nebraska
"Our industry is uniquely American. It’s worth supporting and fighting for. It’s about jobs, careers and building strong American communities and productive, competitive businesses."
-Todd Duncan at GAMA rally in Lincoln, Nebr.
On Friday, May 18, Todd Duncan addressed a crowd of several hundred Duncan Aviation and Hamilton Sundstrand employees, in addition to Nebraska Senators Ben Nelson and Mike Johanns at a General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) rally in Duncan Aviation’s new paint hangar in Lincoln, Nebraska. Also in attendance were several employees from the Hamilton Sundstrand facility in York, Nebraska. Below are his opening remarks.
GAMA Rally Opening Remarks
"I want to thank all of the Duncan Aviation and Hamilton Sundstrand team members who are here today. This rally is for you, because you’re the ones who make this industry work, the ones who put in the hours to make and keep the aircraft flying and to ensure that their passengers are safe and productive for their companies. Thanks for all you do!
"My grandfather, Donald Duncan would be so proud of what we’re doing today; how we’ve grown and the high-quality work we produce. He founded Duncan Aviation in 1956 in Omaha. By 1958, my father, Robert, was learning to fly, soloing when he was just 16 years old and selling his first aircraft for Duncan Aviation while he was still in high school.
"In 1963, we moved the business here to the Lincoln Municipal Airport to expand and accommodate more general aviation business. In 1965, we took delivery of our first Learjet, lucky Serial Number 13.
"Over the years, we slowly added services like avionics, airframe and engine to support our aircraft sales focus. By 1981, service revenues exceeded our revenues from aircraft sales. From that point on, we have continued to invest in the service side of the business aviation. We continue to innovate, as well as diversify, those services.
"In more recent years, we have developed into a company with three main service locations, 25 avionics satellite and work-away shops, and eight engine Rapid Response launch points. We have team members located worldwide.
"We work in a great industry. That industry is made up of great people doing something that they love. As most of you know, I am a pilot. I love coming to work every day; working with, around and in these amazing flying machines. Most of us share that passion. We love airplanes and love what we do to keep them flying.
"Over the last few years, business aviation has certainly received some criticism in the media and in Washington D.C. Yes, some use of business aviation has been over the top. But for the most part, these aircraft are valuable business tools. 59 percent of companies operating business aircraft have fewer than 500 total employees and 80% of the passengers flying in business aircraft are middle managers and salespeople."
Why is general aviation so important to business?
"Company aircraft save employee time. They increase productivity, safety and security while en route. They allow users to visit multiple destinations quickly and efficiently. And they can access 10 times the number of airports served by commercial airlines. They just travel at the speed of business much better than the airlines."
Why is general aviation so important to our people?
"Our industry provides more than 1.2 million jobs countrywide. But it provides more than just jobs, it provides excellent careers!
"At Duncan Aviation, we currently have 1,975 team members, 1,207 of them here in Lincoln. 165 of our team members have been working for us for more than 25 years. Another 68 have been here for 23 or 24 years. Dozens more have been with Duncan Aviation between 15 to 20 years. That is more than just a job. That is a career that allows them to support their families well and build a career in aviation."
"While we work to support our families, they in-turn, support the community. Our team members are very generous. They participate in blood drives, build homes for those who cannot afford them, tutor kids, as well as participate in many non-profit walks, runs and fundraisers.
"In 2010, we had more than 200 team members volunteer their time to help with the Special Olympics Airlift that occurred in Lincoln. It’s the business aviation community that makes this possible."
"Our industry is uniquely American. It’s worth supporting and fighting for. It’s about jobs, careers and building strong American communities and productive, competitive businesses.
"With the support of our elected officials in Washington, we can continue to grow and improve and give back. That’s the purpose for this rally. To thank those officials who support our industry and to show that we are proud to be part of general aviation.
"We look forward to working with the Administration, Congress, government and local officials to develop the policies and the procedures that will perpetuate, rather than destroy, those benefits – and provide the future growth needed by this industry … and this nation.
"We sincerely appreciate Senator Johanns efforts as the co-chair of the GA Caucus and Senator Nelson being a member. Both Senators Johanns and Nelson truly understand the economic impact and essential services provided to Nebraska by General Aviation.
"It’s an honor that they took time out of their schedules today to come see us and celebrate general aviation in Duncan Aviation’s newest facility."
Todd Duncan is the third-generation in the Duncan family to lead Duncan Aviation. He is currently serving as Chairman. His aviation career began in 1988.
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