First, do no harm.
The Republican leaders of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and aviation subcommittee hosted a roundtable of aviation industry leaders Nov. 17 to discuss what measures Congress can take to assist the struggling industry. The message from a spectrum of aviation organizations was that lawmakers should resist calls for excessive taxes, fees, or regulations on the industry while it is trying to recover from the current economic situation and look to the future.
“When it comes to proposed regulations for aviation, the government should ‘do no harm,’” said AOPA Vice President of Legislative Affairs Lorraine Howerton, who spoke at the roundtable. “Leaders in Congress and the industry seem to agree that imposing cost or regulatory burdens on aviation would only hurt the industry, especially in a struggling economy”
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee ranking member John L. Mica (R-Fla.) and aviation subcommittee ranking member Tom Petri (R-Wis.) led the discussion with members of their committees, including Chairman James L. Oberstar (D-Minn.), and industry representatives. The past year’s financial crisis has not been kind to many industries, and aviation is no exception: Diminished demand, job losses, and negative perceptions of business aviation have exacted a toll on the industry. But representatives from all different facets of aviation, from the airlines to repair stations, agreed that burdensome or costly regulation is not the answer. Instead, the focus needs to be on looking ahead to achieve growth and efficiency in aviation.
“Congress showed that it supports general aviation when it rejected user fees in the House FAA reauthorization bill,” said Howerton. “Investment in initiatives like the NextGen air transportation system is now essential to ensure the future of the U.S. aviation system.”