Franklin D. Roosevelt

Letter to the National Aviation Forum.

January 24, 1939

To the National Aviation Forum:

Civil aviation is clearly recognized as the backlog of national defense in the Civil Aeronautics Act which set up the effective machinery for a comprehensive national policy with respect to the air.

Underlying the statute is the principle that the country's welfare in time of peace and its safety in time of war rest upon the existence of a stabilized aircraft production, an economically and technically sound air transportation system, both domestic and overseas—an adequate supply of well-trained civilian pilots and ground personnel.

This new national policy set up by the Congress views American aviation as a special problem requiring special treatment. Aviation is the only form of transportation which operates in a medium which knows no frontiers but touches alike all countries of the earth.

One fact which stands out is that hardly another civil activity of our people bears such a direct and intimate relation to the national security as does civil aviation. It supplies a reservoir of inestimable value to our military and naval forces in the form of men and machines, while at the same time it keeps an industry so geared that it can be instantly diverted to the production of fighting planes in the event of national emergency.

I hope the forthcoming national aviation forum will give serious thought to the many phases which enter into aeronautics as a national problem.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Letter to the National Aviation Forum. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under


Simple Search of Our Archives