AOPA Legislative Affairs staff met with Representative Gary Miller (R-Calif.) today to forestall any attempt to add anti-warbird legislation to this year's Department of Defense (DOD) appropriations bill. Last year, AOPA worked with Congress to strike language requiring demilitarization of significant military equipment, including aircraft formerly owned by the Department of Defense. That could have resulted in the destruction of vintage military aircraft, now flying in civilian hands.
Miller told AOPA he would do whatever it takes to make sure a similar provision is not included in this year's bill. He is sending a letter to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld today in which he will express his "serious concern regarding continued attempts to extend the federal government's demilitarization authority to lawfully possessed surplus military equipment." This follows up on numerous conversations Miller has had with Secretary Rumsfeld on this issue. Rumsfeld has repeatedly told Miller that he is aware of the problem and is working to correct it.