By AOPA ePublishing staff
During the Senate’s recent consideration of the FAA funding bill, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) praised the compromise that ensures fair treatment for general aviation.
“It is no secret that I care passionately about this issue and how general aviation is treated, and to make sure they are treated fairly,” stated Sen. Roberts.
Sen. Roberts explained that aviation supports an estimated 140,000 jobs and contributes roughly $9 billion annually to the Kansas state economy. He said that a stable aviation industry is the key to economic growth in the region and vigorously opposed user fees. His efforts to ensure the fair treatment of GA in the reauthorization debate began in October 2006, when he hosted Transportation Secretary Mary Peters on a tour of Cessna’s headquarters and manufacturing facilities.
“My goals, as we drafted this bill, were very clear: One, ensure that our air traffic control system is updated and remains safe for all passengers and aircraft; and two, protect the general aviation community and Kansas jobs, which would have been threatened by something called a user fee,” noted the senator.
Sen. Roberts has pledged to continue his efforts to pass a long-term FAA reauthorization bill that is fair to GA. The Senate on May 6 failed to garner enough votes to limit debate on the FAA funding bill when some lawmakers objected to nonaviation issues that had been added to the legislation. Those objections prevented a final vote on the FAA funding bill. The FAA is currently operating under a temporary funding measure that expires on June 30.
May 15, 2008