Aviation Business Journal 1st Quarter 2013 - 13

the word out and educate members about what it is and the
many benefits offered. It provides great value and immediate
benefits, particularly for members participating in the Safety
1st programs.

J

im Coon served as Chief of Staff for
the U.S. House of Representatives
Committee on Transportation and
Infrastructure since 2007, a position
he left, effective January 2013, to
	
accept the position as Executive Vice
President at NATA, where he will lead government affairs efforts.
“Jim Coon is a man of extraordinary
talent who provided wise counsel, steady
leadership and a steely determination to get
things done in a very challenging operating
environment,” the committee’s Chairman,
Rep. John Mica (R-FL), told POLITICO
in November, after Coon accepted the
Executive Vice President position with
NATA. “His legacy on the committee is one
of great achievement, and on behalf of the
entire committee I thank him for his service
and wish him the very best.”
Coon’s 25 years of experience on Capitol
Hill includes three years as a professional
staff member on the Aviation Subcommittee
and another three years as the subcommittee’s Staff Director, stints as Director
of Legislative Affairs for both Boeing and
Airlines for America (then known as the Air
Transport Association), and earlier work as
a staffer in the offices of Rep. John Duncan
(R-TN) and former Rep. Robert F. Smith
(R-OR).
The POLITICO article on his departure
called him a “tough and savvy negotiator
who has had a hand in almost all of the aviation policies crafted since the mid-1990s,”
and noted — we could not agree more — that
“snagging Coon is a huge get for NATA.”

Another opportunity will be getting Tom and Jim out
there to meet members — in a position to really listen to and
understand member needs.

ABJ: First things first, Jim: congratulations and
welcome aboard.
Jim Coon: Thank you! I very much look forward
to this opportunity, to meeting our members and
getting to know them and what their concerns are
and then turning around and trying to help them as
best we can. My goal is to hit the ground running.

You have quite a resume in the industry and on Capitol Hill. What
attracted you to aviation?
When I started on Capitol Hill in 1983, the Member of Congress I was
working for at the time served on the Transportation Committee, so I was
able to do his transportation work, which included aviation. I always had a
personal interest in aviation prior to that and then got a first-hand education
in how the legislative process worked through the lens of aviation law and
policy-making and really enjoyed it. The rest followed from there.

What are you looking forward to about the opportunity to join NATA in
this role?
It is a tremendous opportunity: NATA has a great membership and I
am very much looking forward to helping Tom Hendricks and the rest
of the team position NATA to be a lead voice of aviation business here
in Washington. That is the bottom line: we want to work hard for our
members to get their views across to policy makers in the Congress and in
the various government departments; and help those policy makers make
good, informed decisions that aid rather than impede our members and
their businesses.

Your experience on Capitol Hill cannot hurt.
We have a great opportunity to educate Members of Congress about NATA,
improve our brand and become a much stronger voice for our members.
I see all upside to giving our members a voice and being a leader in
directing policies that will help them be more successful — large and small
alike — and allow them to grow, help create jobs, and remove impediments. Our goal is to ensure that all our members are heard by policy makers in Washington and across the country for that matter.
Continued on page 15

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Aviation Business Journal 1st Quarter 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Aviation Business Journal 1st Quarter 2013

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