Barr Fight Resonates With U.S. Chamber

 - April 28, 2011, 11:10 AM

U.S. Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Tom Donohue joined the chorus of defenders of the Block Aircraft Registration Request (Barr) program yesterday, telling attendees at the chamber’s 10th annual Aviation Summit that an FAA proposal to stiffen the qualifications for Barr “is an ill-advised populist movement” that “poses a security risk to the users of business aviation and there is no legitimate reason for it.” He said the chamber told the House as much when it weighed in on FAA reauthorization, and the current House bill blocks the agency from moving forward. Later, in a one-on-one interview with NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen, FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt asserted that one key ingredient in the success of the FAA’s work on NextGen is congressional passage of FAA reauthorization. “The question we should be asking is not what it will cost to do this, but what will it cost not to do this,” Babbitt stressed. “If this were a business meeting for a board of directors, and I brought you a proposal that said we’ll invest $8 billion up front, but when the project is complete we’ll save $4 billion a year going forward, there would be approval for that proposal.”