May 13, 2010
AOPA ePublishing staff
After the Jan. 12 earthquake that rocked Haiti, general aviation pilots in the United States were in a unique position to provide aid, and they rose to the occasion. GA made more than 4,500 relief flights in the first 30 days after the earthquake, providing transportation for medical and disaster relief personnel, according to a concurrent resolution honoring GA for its contribution to the relief efforts.
The House passed the Haiti resolution May 12, which states that Congress believes “general aviation pilots and industry should be recognized for the contributions made in response to Haiti earthquake relief efforts and encourages the continued generosity of general aviation pilots and operators in the ongoing humanitarian relief efforts in Haiti.” The Senate passed the resolution April 29.
The concurrent resolution was introduced in the House by General Aviation Caucus co-chairs Reps. Allen Boyd (D-Fla.) and Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.), and in the Senate by General Aviation Caucus co-chairs Sens. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Mike Johanns (R-Neb.). The resolution, which has 12 cosponsors in the Senate and 17 cosponsors in the House, highlights that pilots paid for their own relief flights and that GA aircraft were able to deliver aid and personnel to remote areas outside Port-au-Prince.
The resolution was introduced the same day actor and GA Serves America spokesman Harrison Ford met with the Senate and House GA Caucuses. During the discussion, Ford talked about the Haiti relief effort, including his personal flights to lend a helping hand. He made several trips to a remote dirt strip in Haiti, flying doctors, nurses, and medical supplies.
Advocacy and Legislation
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 fewer than five 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.
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.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.