Corporate executives and members of Iowa’s congressional attended a rally in Cedar Rapids today (Wednesday) supporting business aviation. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican from New Hartford, talked about its impact on the state economy.

“If we want jobs in not just Cedar Rapids, but in the small towns of Iowa and rural America, we have to make it possible for those people (who) are going to invest, to get from their corporate headquarters to where they want the productive and quality manufacturing you get here in Iowa,” Grassley says.

Rockwell-Collins C.E.O. Clay Jones told the rally the general aviation business aircraft contributes nearly one-and-a-half billion dollars to Iowa’s economy each year. Jones says general aviation is one of the few remaining industries in the country that enjoys a positive trade balance.

He says the industry employees 1.2 million people, including four-thousand at his company and 1,500 of them work in Iowa. Senator Tom Harkin and Congressman Dave Loebsack were the only members of the Iowa delegation who were not at the rally at the Eastern Iowa Airport.