Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) has been selected to chair the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee when Congress convenes in January.
Mica has served on the committee since he was first elected to Congress in 1992; he has been the committee’s top-ranking Republican since 2007. He oversaw the passage of the last FAA reauthorization bill to become law during his tenure as chairman of the aviation subcommittee from 2000 to 2006.
“His focus on passing the long-stalled FAA reauthorization bill and other critical transportation funding bills, as well as on critical infrastructure and the modernization of the air traffic control system are welcome, and we look forward to working with him and the entire committee to move these vital pieces of legislation forward,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller.
As ranking member of the committee, Mica has spoken in support of the FAA bill the House passed in 2009, which would not impose user fees. He also led an effort to revise the standard for when the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) could use emergency procedures to issue regulations or security devices in the wake of a controversial security directive that implemented badging requirements for pilots at commercial service airports. He has requested reports on FAA certification and the NextGen air transportation system modernization to keep the FAA accountable.
“We congratulate Congressman Mica on becoming the next chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee,” said Lorraine Howerton, AOPA vice president of legislative affairs. “As chairman, Congressman Mica will provide strong leadership on national aviation policy and oversight of the FAA.” In an AOPA Live video in 2009, Mica spoke about issues affecting general aviation, including the need to pass an FAA reauthorization bill.
“We’ve got to get a bill passed and get in place a blueprint so that aviation can continue to prosper. As you know aviation, and general aviation, is a huge contributor to our economy, and with the economy down it’s important that we have this plan in place and this commitment from the federal government.”
With the shift in power in Congress, Mica replaces current Chairman James Oberstar (D-Minn.). Oberstar did not win re-election.