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GA groups ask DOT to reopen aircraft registry during shutdownGA groups ask DOT to reopen aircraft registry during shutdown

AOPA and five other general aviation groups sent a letter asking Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Elaine L. Chao to reopen the FAA aircraft registry, which is closed because of the ongoing federal government shutdown.

With the registry closed, the delivery and financing of aircraft has suddenly stopped.

The letter asks Chao to to reopen the registry, and lays out the authority and reasoning: "We respectfully submit that DOT has authority under the Anti-deficiency Act,1 to staff the U.S. Registry as it is vital to protection of human life and property, and necessary for the U.S. to fulfill its ongoing international legal obligations under the Chicago Convention and the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment ('Cape Town Convention') relating to the registration of aircraft."

During the last shutdown in 2013, the aircraft registry was closed, a move that had a "profound impact on our manufacturers and workforce" and "disrupted hundreds of aircraft transactions valued at over $1.9 billion," according to the letter.

The letter was signed by AOPA President and CEO Mark Baker, along with National Business Aviation Association President Ed Bolen, Experimental Aircraft Association CEO and Chairman Jack Pelton, General Aviation Manufacturers Association President and CEO Pete Bunce, Helicopter Association International President Matthew Zuccaro, and National Air Transportation Association President Martin Hiller.

"For as long as the shutdown lasts, AOPA will work to minimize the effect on pilots, and we urge the FAA to immediately reopen the aircraft registry and Congress to pass legislation to reopen the government," Baker said.

During the 2013 shutdown, GA groups and numerous elected officials also asked the FAA to reopen the aircraft registry. Five senators signed an October 2013 letter that pointed out the registry had remained open in previous shutdowns and raised issues relating to safety, international obligations, and unnecessary economic hardship.

Joe Kildea

Joe Kildea

AOPA Senior Director of Communications
Joe is a student pilot and his first solo flight was at AOPA’s home airport in Frederick, Maryland. Before joining AOPA in 2015, he worked for numerous political campaigns, news organizations, and the White House Press Office.
Topics: Advocacy, Capitol Hill

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