Two powerful members of the House aviation subcommittee are circulating a letter urging President Obama not to include general aviation user fees in the Fiscal Year 2011 budget.
For many years, J.A. Air Center was known solely for its maintenance and avionics services, which since 1975 have been housed at Dupage Airport in West Chicago, Ill.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said during a speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s 8th Annual Aviation Summit on April 29 that he is open to discussions to include aviation in the Obama Administration’s proposal to create a multibillion-dollar transportation infrastructure bank, but claimed that he had not been approached with the idea.
Seventy mayors and county executives last month sent a letter to President Obama outlining the importance of general aviation to small towns and local economies across the U.S. In conjunction, Wichita mayor Carl Brewer released a separate letter to renew his call to invite the President to Wichita to witness firsthand the toll that the recent economic downturn has had on the “Air Capital of the World.”
A line in President Obama’s 134-page budget for Fiscal Year 2010 has put general aviation lobbyists on high alert. Page 129 contains a notation that “the budget proposes repealing some aviation excise taxes and replacing these taxes with direct user charges.” NBAA said it is “very troubled” by the budget outline because it appears to leave the door open to consideration of aviation user fees for funding the FAA.
The FAA has released details of how general aviation traffic will be severely constrained when President Obama stays at his Chicago home. Operators wishing to fly to Midway Airport will have to obtain a TSA special events waiver and undergo TSA security screening at gateway airports Rockford International, Greater Peoria Regional or South Bend Regional before continuing to Midway.
House aviation subcommittee chairman Jerry Costello (D-Ill.) said last month that the Obama Administration “has an [FAA] Administrator in mind and has been negotiating” with the potential nominee, who some thought meant Randy Babbitt, a former president of the Air Line Pilots Association. By late month, however, the scuttlebutt was that the negotiations had become bogged down over money.
u Even before President Barack Obama took the oath of office on January 20 political analysts, media gurus (press, radio, TV talking heads) and a horde of amateur prognosticators came out of the woodwork to peer deeply into their crystal balls for any insight as to how Congress would react to Obama’s campaign promises and legislative goals.
Former Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.), who retired in December at the end of his seventh term in Congress, has been confirmed to serve as secretary of transportation in President Obama’s Administration, making him the second Republican (after Defense Secretary Robert Gates) to sit in his Cabinet.
Retired Illinois Rep. Ray LaHood breezed through a Senate hearing yesterday afternoon on his nomination to be Secretary of Transportation in the Obama Administration. As one of two Republicans in Obama’s Cabinet, he told the senators that while his primary mission is to bring the President’s priorities to the DOT and see them effectively implemented, he promised to be open and fair.