September 23, 2010
AOPA Communications staff
AOPA has joined with two dozen other aviation and aviation-related organizations to press for action on a long-overdue measure to authorize funding for the FAA. The House passed its version of the reauthorization bill last year.
In a letter to members of the Senate, the groups say that after three full years without an FAA reauthorization bill, “It is time for Congress to move forward decisively and pass [a] bill.”
“AOPA has been working with Congress for nearly five years now, beginning nearly two years before the last authorization bill expired, to pass a bill that adequately funds the FAA for both day-to-day operations and development of the Next Generation Air Transportation System, or NextGen,” said Melissa Rudinger, AOPA senior vice president of government affairs. “Several times we’ve thought we were close, only to run into roadblocks, some of which have little to do with aviation.”
The letter from the 25 groups reminds senators that failure to pass a bill has both safety and infrastructure implications. “We, as aviation community members will not stop pushing for this bill because the safety and the future of the [National Airspace System], as well as the vital investments in our airports and aviation infrastructure, are far too important to ignore,” the letter reads.
In addition to signing the letter, AOPA has joined with the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) to place an advertisement in several influential newspapers read by members of Congress and their staffs. The ad, produced on behalf of the four associations by GAMA, tells senators, “We’re ready to fly,” noting that FAA reauthorization has been delayed 15 times since the last authorization expired three years ago. It notes the significant economic impact of general aviation and urges the Senate to, “Pass FAA reauthorization now.”
“The reauthorization bill lays out priorities for the FAA, and allows the agency—and the industry—to do long-term planning,” concluded Rudinger. “It is a vital piece of legislation without which can only keep things going as they are—not work on important advancements and improvements.”
Advocacy and Legislation,
FAA Financial and Regulatory
AOPA is asking the FAA to withdraw a proposed airworthiness directive that could affect thousands of ECi cylinders.
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 fewer than five passengers, fly below 14,000 feet msl, and fly no faster than 250 knots.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.