abc
QUICK LINKS:

Oberstar Legacy Soars with Twin Ports Aviation

Updated: 05/05/2014 6:13 PM
Created: 05/05/2014 3:24 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
tdill@wdio.com

Leaders at Cirrus Aircraft reacted on Monday to the death of former 8th District Representative Jim Oberstar. They said the aviation industry in the Twin Ports owes much success to his passion for transportation.

William King, Vice President of Business Administration at Cirrus Aircraft, said he was stunned to hear of Oberstar's death on Saturday. King said he lost more than a congressman and aviation supporter; he lost a friend.

“We'd give each other big bear hugs when we said hello instead of shaking hands, and the standing joke was, 'Have you hugged your congressman today?' And it was great fun,” King said.

He said Oberstar's personality and passion for aerospace helped convince Cirrus to move to Duluth over 20 years ago.

“We had actually flown out and sat down with him in his office in 1993 with, then mayor, Gary Doty and had a long conversation about where we were looking to locate our company. And his response was, 'Well, that's an easy decision. You can locate anywhere you want as long as it's Duluth,'” King said.

He said Oberstar also helped bring together the Northern Aero Alliance. The group of 35 aerospace companies bond together to sustain a strong local industry according to King.

“2,500 jobs isn't insignificant when you think about 2,500 jobs as 2,500 families that are enjoying a meaningful livelihood because of much of the work that Jim had his hand in,” King said.

He said Oberstar helped create at least 10,000 more jobs across the country by helping pass the General Aviation Revitalization Act in 1994. King said that reform reinvigorated the industry nationwide.

King said Oberstar has helped the aviation industry soar in the Northland, but said Oberstar would not be satisfied to glide on that success.

“He would look at that and he would tell you today, 'Don't stop now. This is just a really good start.' That's how he would define this discussion today,” King said.

He said the industry will feel Oberstar's absence, and they'll tip their wings in his memory.

For more coverage of Oberstar's accomplishments and reaction to his death click here.

Front Page

  • A federal judge has dismissed the City of Duluth's attempt to restore an agreement that had given the city millions of dollars in revenue from the Fond-du-Luth Casino annually. Duluth Loses Bid to Restore Casino Agreement

    A federal court has dismissed the City of Duluth's attempt to reinstate an agreement that had provided the city with millions of dollars annually from the Fond-du-Luth Casino.  In an opinion Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly upheld a notice of violation issued in 2011, saying the National Indian Gaming Commission was within its rights to issue the violation.

  • FILE - U.S. Steel has announced plans to partially idle Minntac in Mountain Iron effective June 1. US Steel to Partially Idle Minntac, Potentially Affecting 700

    Three weeks after announcing plans to temporarily idle Keewatin Taconite, U.S. Steel has announced plans to temporarily idle a portion of the Minntac plant in Mountain Iron.  The company did not announce exactly how many employees will be affected, but union officials told Eyewitness News they expected about 700 workers to be impacted.

  • The Minnesota State Patrol supplied this photo of the damage caused by a plane's propeller after the plane was forced to make an emergency landing on a highway east of Moorhead on Tuesday. Propeller Slices into Car on Minnesota Highway

    A woman driving on a highway east of Moorhead noticed a strange sight in her rear view mirror Tuesday: a small plane.  Moments later, the plane's propeller shredded the side of the car, but fortunately, no one was hurt.

  • Carlton Co. Authorities Investigate Store Robbery

    The Carlton County Sheriff's Office is looking for the person who robbed a convenience store at knifepoint on Monday evening.

  • Moose Lake Man Accused of Threatening Family Members

    A Moose Lake man faces several charges after a domestic disturbance at a Moose Lake Township home Monday evening.

 
Advertisement