House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) announced Jan. 2 that he will not seek reelection in 2018.
In a statement, Shuster said he would spend the next year working across the aisle to pass a broad infrastructure bill. “Rather than focusing on a reelection campaign, I thought it wiser to spend my last year as Chairman focusing 100 percent on working with President Trump and my Republican and Democratic colleagues in both Chambers to pass a much needed infrastructure bill to rebuild America,” said Shuster.
Shuster, the leading congressional proponent of removing air traffic control from the FAA, has held his seat since 2002 and is in the final year he can serve as chairman because of term limits. His air traffic proposal has not reached the House floor due to a lack of votes and has been strongly opposed by AOPA and a coalition of hundreds of general aviation organizations, small airports, and others.
Despite the disagreement on Shuster’s air traffic proposal, AOPA President and CEO Mark Baker thanked Shuster for his work on issues that matter to pilots: “We thank Representative Shuster for his service to the nation and to his constituents back home in Pennsylvania. In his role as Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, he has accomplished many things over the years including moving America’s aviation and transportation systems forward.
“We thank him for helping general aviation on a number of key issues including third class medical reform, airport improvement funding, and other important matters. We look forward to working with Chairman Shuster in the days and months ahead to move a long-term FAA reauthorization bill that can get support from the entire aviation industry as well as helping him move a bipartisan national infrastructure bill that will benefit all Americans.”