The second-day opening session today at NBAA 2013 brought together top executives from leading business and general aviation advocacy groups to discuss how to advance the needs of private aviation in a time of political gridlock and fiscal constraints. “This industry is enormously heavily regulated by the federal government,” NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen told attendees, “so the shutdown has a disproportionate impact on this industry.”
GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce noted that despite the political polarization in Congress, aviation advocacy groups won unanimous approval in both houses of Congress for a rewrite of Part 23 regulations, aimed at reducing the cost and time required for aircraft certification. “Right now [Congress] is reconciling the language” of the two versions of the bill, Bunce said. He added that passage of the amendments is expected within the next two weeks.
AEA CEO Paula Derks said the shutdown hamstrung certification of many avionics products. “We keep hearing from members that [FAA] inspectors say it will take up to six months to catch up after the [16-day] shutdown.”
National Association of State Aviation Officials president and CEO Henry Ogrodzinski encouraged attendees to join the Alliance for Aviation Across America, a grassroots organization that promotes business aviation. “The Treasury Department wanted to know what the Alliance’s interest was in business aviation,” Ogrodzinski said. “We told them it’s in the national interest.”