James K. Coyne
President, National Air Transportation Association
“Jim Coyne, as a former Congressman, opened doors and pathways that NATA had never been given previous access. His genuine passion for aviation and the many advances that NATA was able to accomplish were enabled and enhanced by Jim's dedication to his work”!
There is instant recognition when you here the name, Jim Coyne. FABA has had a long-standing relationship with the National Air Transportation Association. We thought it appropriate to share information about his life and his thoughts as he begins a new adventure and messages from FATA members.
“I have come to know Jim over the years both professionally and personally. I am grateful to him for all of the suppor t and tremendous help over the many years of his leadership at NATA. Jim has always been there for us and his legacy will be one that our organization will value and respect for many years to come.” Brett Greenberg, Executive Vice President, Galaxy Aviation.
Born in Farmville, Virginia, and raised in suburban Philadelphia, James K. Coyne holds a BS degree from Yale and an MBA from Harvard. During the 1970s, he was a faculty member at the Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania) and the CEO of a family business in Philadelphia (Coyne Chemical Co.).
“Long before I came to Washington as a freshman congressman in 1980, I was an aviation advocate. For nearly forty years, I’ve been flying into FBOs, getting to know many NATA members even before I knew what NATA was. Now after visits to more than a thousand FBOs, repair stations, flight schools, charter operators, and airline services companies around the world, I continue to be amazed by the outstanding class of citizens who run businesses like yours. Meeting these men and women, whom I call the backbone of our national air transportation system, has been something that Holly and I will cherish forever.”
Like many businessmen of that era, he was angered by misguided federal policies, runaway spending, and the disastrous economic conditions that were hobbling the nation. Inspired by his colleagues in the Philadelphia business community, he decided in early 1980 to challenge the political status quo and run for public office. An admitted novice at the game of politics, he nevertheless ran one of the most creative and effective campaigns in the country and defeated an entrenched incumbent in November to win a seat in Congress from the northern suburbs of Philadelphia.
As one of the few members of the US House of Representatives with a business and technology background, he was a forceful voice against government inefficiency, burdensome regulations, and high taxes, and he worked with other like-minded, pro-business conservatives to pass important reforms during the early years of the “Reagan Revolution” in Washington. His opponent used the redistricting process in Pennsylvania in 1982 to stack the deck against him, but as Jim Coyne’s short career in Congress came to an end that year, a door opened that provided new ways for him to fight for America’s private sector and promote strong and sensible national economic policies.
In January 1983, President Ronald Reagan asked Jim Coyne to join his staff as director of the White House Office of Private Sector Initiatives. For over two years, he led the administration’s efforts in support of pro-business, private sector solutions to many of our nation’s toughest challenges, in areas like education, transportation, health care, public safety, and computer literacy. After the White House, he served as president of the American Consulting Engineers Council, the American Tort Reform Association, and Americans to Limit Congressional Terms.
In 1994, the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) selected Jim Coyne as its president and CEO. While the board said at the time that they wanted someone with political, business, and association experience to lead NATA, it probably didn’t hurt that Jim Coyne and his wife had been enthusiastic pilots at that point for more than twenty years. Now, with over 6000 hours in his log book, Jim Coyne has had a wonderful lifetime experiencing the benefits of business aviation. Flying has been an important facet of his professional and private life. Two small, piston airplanes helped him expand Coyne Chemical in the 1970s. During his term in Congress, he flew from Washington to Pennsylvania se