The U.S. Senate approved legislation yesterday to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, bringing to conclusion a dispute in Congress driven by the airline industry’s opposition to export financing of Boeing long-range aircraft purchased by competing foreign carriers. The Export-Import Act of 2012 (H.R.2072) was approved a week earlier by the House and is expected to be signed by President Obama. The bill extends the bank’s charter through 2014 and increases its lending authority by $40 billion, to $140 billion.
Small Business Administration
Small businesses, including FBOs and general aviation airports, still struggling to secure emergency operating funds may find relief from $4.5 billion in new lending authority approved by Congress and signed by President Bush. The cash infusion will enable the Small Business Administration to make 19,000 new emergency loans, according to Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.).
Now that Congress has completed its $15 billion bailout of the airlines as a result of September 11, attention is finally turning to the small aviation businesses that lost and continue to lose money.
The Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) praised U.S. House of Representatives Aviation subcommittee chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) for urging the FAA to re-evaluate its recent proposal to subject employees of thousands of small businesses that indirectly serve the aviation industry to mandatory drug and alcohol testing.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) announced expanded access to its Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) as a result of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The program has only been accessible to date to those businesses located in declared disaster areas, including the vicinities in and around New York City and Washington.
On October 11 the House small business subcommittee on regulatory reform and oversight considered the financial hit to small aviation business from restrictions on the National Airspace System. The hearing was intended to quantify dollar needs and consider expansion of recipients for aid under H.R.3007, introduced on October 3 by Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) with 25 cosponsors.