November 11, 2009
May 13, 2004 - The chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has gone on record against the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA's) proposed charity/sightseeing rule in a recent letter to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey. Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) has been a strong advocate for general aviation because of its importance as a primary means of transportation in his home state, and he used AOPA data to help make his point.
"It is great to have Chairman Young's support on this issue. His years of service in Congress and on the transportation committee make him someone the FAA cannot ignore," said AOPA President Phil Boyer.
"His letter makes it clear to the FAA administrator that the FAA needs to substantially change its approach to its proposed rule affecting charity/sightseeing and air tour flights."
Responding to concerns raised by AOPA in meetings with his staff and contacts by aviation businesses and other organizations, Chairman Young wrote Federal Aviation Administrator Marion Blakey, raising concerns about the effects of the FAA's proposed rule. Citing AOPA-provided data, Young took FAA to task for grossly underestimating the economic impact on operators and highlighting the damaging effects the rule would have on local charity and sightseeing flights.
The letter includes narratives from six small general aviation operators, providing a snapshot of the real-world impact this ill-conceived proposal would have on the industry. "At the very least, I believe that the NPRM [notice of proposed rulemaking] should be significantly revised to ensure that it would have the desired improvement in aviation safety while not causing dire impacts on the ability of small aviation operators to stay in business," Young wrote.
Advocacy and Legislation
A House bill that would force FAA to go through the rulemaking process before imposing new policies for sleep disorders has passed a key committee.
The House has passed a bill requiring the TSA to consult stakeholders, including general aviation representatives, before making major changes to security policy.
Senators are demanding a written response from the Department of Homeland Security about unwarranted stops of general aviation aircraft by DHS and Customs and Border Protection.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.