A pair of lawsuits against Mayor Daley and the city of Chicago are working their separate paths through state and federal courts, and legislation has been introduced in the Illinois state Senate to expand O’Hare Airport. Meigs supporters are rallying to try to have language attached to that legislation requiring preservation of the lakeside airport, as was done in the ill-fated 2001 agreement between Mayor Daley and then-governor George Ryan.
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
AOPA has proposed that the city of Chicago apply for $41 million in federal Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding to buy Meigs Field from its current owner, the Chicago Park District. AOPA president Phil Boyer said, “The funds will give [the Park District] significant resources to improve existing parks and create a new one on Northerly Island where there’s adequate space for both Meigs and a park to exist.”
The General Aviation Industry Reparations Act (H.R.3347) encountered rough air when the Bush Administration asked lawmakers to put off a vote on the measure because its estimated cost had ballooned from the original $450 million to more than $5.5 billion.
While machinations continue on future funding of the FAA, the House and Senate last week approved a six-week extension of the current law. The House passed its version of FAA reauthorization legislation on September 20, but the Senate version has not yet been debated on the floor.
The Senate Commerce Committee approved and sent to the full Senate a bill that would give the FAA six months to issue pilot certificates that include photo identification. AOPA has long advocated such a move but believes that the six-month time frame for implementation is unrealistic. The legislation would require the photo ID for pilots to include biometric data or other unique identifiers.
Solid progress in the fight against user fees has been made, but the general aviation community has to stay involved for the battle to be won, according to leaders of the fight who took the dais at the User Fee Forum at NBAA 2007 yesterday. “We’re in terminal airspace but there’s convective weather ahead,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen, likening the effort to a long-distance flight.
Solid progress in the fight against user fees has been made, but the general aviation community has to stay involved for the battle to be won, according to leaders of the fight who took the dais at the User Fee Forum at NBAA’07 yesterday.
General aviation late last week won a major battle, but not yet the entire war, against user fees. The House of Representatives last Thursday approved H.R.2881, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2007, and the next morning the Senate Finance Committee drastically modified the tax provisions in its companion bill, S.1300.
If any of the founding members of the organization that eventually grew into the National Business Aviation Association could be transported through time to the 2007 NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention, they would undoubtedly be amazed by what they see here.
The European general aviation industry has created a counterpart to the U.S. General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) in an effort to head off the threat posed by a barrage of new EU regulations.