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AOPA Action: ‘A win-win’ for GA

AOPA leading efforts for FBO pricing transparency

For almost two years, AOPA has been investigating and working with local leaders to understand and fight the effect of egregious and often opaque FBO fees on airport accessibility. Five other major aviation associations joined AOPA to jointly release “Know Before You Go” best business practices, a set of recommended communications practices to enhance fixed-base operation transparency, including publishing an online list of prices, fees, and charges that pilots may face when landing at an airport.

The joint release calls on FBOs to “move expeditiously to implement these practices,” and recognizes that certain providers face unique implementation challenges and may need time to communicate their prices and fees online.

“AOPA’s efforts toward fairness and transparency will lead to informed decisions for pilots, drive competition, and increase flying—a win-win for general aviation,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “This is a major step in our work to ensure reasonable airport accessibility, and we hope that this sends a unified message that FBOs need to be able to accurately tell all aviators what costs to expect before arriving at publicly funded airports. We believe that the united support of these principles both validates that there is an issue with pricing transparency and provides a reasonable path to meet customer expectations.”

The joint release was issued by AOPA, the Experimental Aircraft Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Helicopter Association International, the National Air Transportation Association—which represents the FBO industry—and the National Business Aviation Association. AOPA staff is working directly with FBOs that request assistance in developing technology solutions for posting fees, and AOPA is offering to communicate the fees through the association’s online airport directory.


What the midterm elections mean for GA

The state of aviation’s allies in Congress

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) was reelected and will likely succeed Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) as House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman in January. DeFazio has been a long-time supporter of general aviation, and he also vehemently opposed the controversial ATC “privatization” proposal pushed by Shuster.

Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) officially launched his bid to become the top Republican on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee after securing his congressional seat. Graves has a strong conservative record and has suggested that his background as a pilot and user of the system will help him shape effective policies.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) was reelected to his Senate seat. A pilot, aircraft owner, and AOPA member for more than 45 years, Manchin was instrumental in getting BasicMed passed in Congress.

Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) is expected to take control as chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee, and because of Rep. Frank LoBiondo’s (R-N.J.) retirement, it is unclear who will become the top Republican on the subcommittee.

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), a strong GA supporter, relinquished his chairmanship of the Senate Commerce Committee and has been elected Senate Majority Whip.

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), also an avid GA supporter, is expected to become the next chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. 

Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla.) lost his seat to Democratic challenger Kendra Horn. Russell is a pilot and aircraft owner and a winner of the AOPA Hartranft Award. Russell helped lead the fight against so-called ATC privatization and was active on other issues that affect pilots.

Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) has retired. An active pilot and aircraft owner, AOPA Hartranft Award recipient, and longtime advocate for GA, Rokita was a key leader in many aviation issues, including his opposition to ATC privatization and his strong support for third class medical reform.

The House GA Caucus will need to be reconstituted, as at least 55 members will not be returning.


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