May 22, 2012
By Dan Namowitz
The Pennsylvania House passed a bill, by a vote of 179 to 19, to exempt aircraft purchases and maintenance from the state’s 6-percent sales tax in action supporters said would return jobs and competitiveness to the state’s aviation industry.
AOPA and the Aviation Council of Pennsylvania have aggressively worked for passage of House Bill 1100 since its introduction in April 2011. The bill cleared the House May 21 and will now be referred to the Senate. The measure was sponsored by Rep. Peter J. Daley (D-Donora), and has been supported by about 60 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle.
AOPA reported in October 2011 that during hearings, legislators heard testimony from businesses and aviation colleges who said that while other northeastern states passed competitive provisions, Pennsylvania was experiencing a flight of aviation companies and skilled industry workers.
Mark Kimberling, AOPA director of state government affairs, testified before a House committee that while Pennsylvania has more airports than states like Connecticut and Massachusetts, they have significantly fewer aviation workers employed in the state, who work elsewhere for “good, livable wages.”
Kimberling also recently visited Harrisburg to meet with House leadership on the issue, whom he states, are “fully committed to the legislation as a vitally important jobs measure.” Kimberling went on to say that AOPA and the Aviation Council of Pennsylvania will now turn their full attention to the Senate.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
A state-of-the art medical facility on remote Tangier Island in the Chesapeake Bay serves as a lasting memorial to the late Dr. David B. Nichols’ dedication to providing medical care to the community for 30 years. Now, Nichols’ aviation legacy—flying a Cessna 182 or Robinson R44 to the island every Thursday to provide that care—is set in stone.
Chicago airports were back to near-normal traffic volume three days after a fire allegedly set by a despondent Chicago Center contractor.
The AOPA Medical Advisory Board is the latest group to urge quick action on the proposed FAA rule that would allow thousands more pilots to fly without the need for a third class medical certificate.
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