A story on general aviation airports in the September 17 issue of USA Today, and a companion video news segment broadcast that same day on NBC’s Today show, drew intense fire from the aviation alphabet groups representing general and business aviation.
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
Alliance for Aviation Across America, a Washington, D.C.-based general aviation advocacy organization, has released an economic impact study detailing general aviation’s value across the nation.
A bipartisan group of senators introduced an FAA reauthorization act last month that carries provisions to speed up implementation of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) while retaining the current mechanisms for paying for the ATC upgrades. The Senate Commerce Committee approved the measure a week later.
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) said last week that they will be collaborating on issues and programs that protect, support and foster general aviation.
Even though the nation’s airlines are playing nice with general aviation over the contentious question of user fees, the Obama Administration has clearly signaled that it wants to fund the FAA with more user fees in Fiscal Year 2011.
The 2010 budget proposal for the FAA released earlier this month by the White House makes it obvious that President Obama wants a fundamental change in funding in FY 2011 by dramatically reducing General Fund support for aviation in America. The Administration proposal for 2011 envisions $9.6 billion coming from user fees–up more than $2 billion from the initial estimate earlier this year. That figure rises to $11 billion by 2014.
Long-time AOPA member, pilot and actor Harrison Ford has teamed with AOPA to promote general aviation.
House aviation subcommittee chairman Jerry Costello (D-Ill.) has joined Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.), chairman of the full House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee, in opposing an Obama Administration plan to institute user fees to balance the FAA budget starting in Fiscal Year 2010.
The TSA has established a stakeholder liaison position dedicated to addressing concerns about recent security measures, including the Large Aircraft Security Program proposal, a security directive that would require additional screenings for general aviation pilots at commercial airports and “Operation Playbook.” Juan Barnes has been tapped to fill the new role.