April 26, 2013
By AOPA Communications staff
AOPA praised Congress April 26 for passing legislation that would give the FAA the flexibility to make more measured decisions about spending cuts, including staffing and contract towers.
“Through their strong support for this measure, both the House and Senate have made it clear that the safety and efficiency of our aviation system is a priority,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. “All of us who fly are grateful for their efforts.”
The Senate passed its measure unanimously on April 25, with the House approving its bill by a vote of 361 to 41 on April 26.
The legislation allows the Department of Transportation to move $253 million to the FAA’s operations account. The agency can then use the money to stop furloughs and potentially keep open many of the 149 air traffic control towers slated for closure.
“We hope the FAA will use the flexibility granted by Congress to rationally address the needs of our national air transportation system, and that means keeping controllers on the job and continuing to operate contract towers where they are needed for safety and efficiency,” Fuller said, noting that the added flexibility could also reduce the threat of locally imposed user fees intended to make up for the expected loss of federal funding.
“But even as we celebrate this bipartisan effort, we need to remember that this is only a short-term solution unless action is taken to end the sequester,” he warned.
Under sequestration another round of automatic, across-the-board budget cuts is set to take effect on Oct. 1, the start of the next fiscal year.
FAA Information and Services,
Department of Transportation,
A new FAA policy on obstructive sleep apnea that addresses many of the concerns raised by AOPA is scheduled to take effect March 2.
AOPA and the National Business Aviation Association have jointly filed an amicus, or friend of the court, brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as part of the ongoing legal battle over the future of Santa Monica Municipal Airport.
AOPA worked with the flight training industry and FAA to quickly resolve a problem that suddenly put many rating applications on hold.
VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN NEAR YOU!
SHARE YOUR PASSION. VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN. CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
VOLUNTEER LOCALLY AT AOPA FLY-IN! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
BE A PART OF THE FLY-IN VOLUNTEER CREW! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>