Political Flap over Carriage of Political Candidates

 - June 10, 2008, 11:49 AM

NBAA reports that the FAA has responded to a query about the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007, which changed the law with respect to what candidates for federal election must pay when traveling on non-commercial aircraft. Major provisions of the act require presidential, vice presidential and Senate candidates to reimburse the person providing the flight at the fair market charter rate, while House of Representatives candidates are prohibited from traveling on non-Part 135 aircraft unless it is operated by the federal or state government or owned by the candidate or immediate family members. However, current Federal Election Commission (FEC) regulations regarding reimbursement are inconsistent with statutory guidance in the act, leaving operators uncertain about whether they can accept reimbursement. This was the crux of NBAA’s inquiry to the FAA. In its written response, the agency said Part 91 operators can accept reimbursement based on the provisions in the act while FEC regulations are developed.