AOPA President Phil Boyer on Wednesday chastised U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta for failing to include any general aviation representatives among the latest nominees for the FAA Management Advisory Council (MAC).
"Ninety-five percent of the U.S. civilian fleet, more than three quarters of all flights in the United States, and two thirds of all U.S. pilots are general aviation," said Boyer. "And yet not one of this year's six nominees to the committee that guides and advises the Federal Aviation Administration represents GA pilots and aircraft owners—the majority of FAA's 'customers.'"
AOPA championed the legislation that created the MAC, and Boyer was one of the original nominees, although his appointment was blocked by Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Chairman John McCain based on AOPA's position against a user-funded ATC system.
"But this is not about me or about AOPA," said Boyer. "There are any number of highly qualified business leaders in this country who are active in general aviation and who could bring both management experience and an understanding of GA to the table."
In his letter to Mineta, Boyer wrote, "Without a doubt, general aviation can contribute greatly to the Management Advisory Council. So far, only one member of the 18-member council has ties to the general aviation community, and that is from the manufacturing industry, not the consumer, pilot, or owner. My request to you is that future appointments include individuals who are from the general aviation community."
Congress established the FAA Management Advisory Council in October 1996 to serve as "an oversight resource for management, policy, spending and regulatory matters under the jurisdiction of the Administration." Congress intended that council members be appointed from the ranks of senior aviation industry professionals with strong backgrounds in management and planning.
Boyer's letter concluded, "In a year celebrating the first century of powered flight as we look to the next, it is important that every segment of the aviation community be involved in planning for the future."