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August 1, 2003
On the first day of the new Congress, Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced legislation (S.83) that would ensure the future of Chicago's historic downtown airport, Meigs Field. Cosponsors of the legislation include Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), as well as AOPA members and pilots senators Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.).
Last year, a similar bill (which also included legislation to expand Chicago O'Hare Airport and construct a new airport at Peotone) died in the Senate despite passage by the House of Representatives by a 343-87 vote. Responding to Sen. Durbin's action, AOPA President Phil Boyer said, "This is an important first step in getting this legislation passed in a new Congress; we are pleased its importance was recognized with an opening-day introduction." A companion measure is expected to be introduced in the House of Representatives soon.
Advocacy and Legislation
AOPA is looking to the Michigan Senate for “refinement” of proposals amended unfavorably in last-minute House action.
The General Aviation Pilot Protection Act would allow pilots to use the driver’s license medical standard for noncommercial VFR flights in aircraft weighing up to 6,000 pounds with no more than six seats, as long as they carry five or fewer passengers, fly below 14,000 feet msl, and fly no faster than 250 knots.
The Civil Aviation Medical Association is objecting to the FAA's proposed sleep apnea policy, warning that the evidence doesn't justify the approach.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.