Thursday, June 28, 2007

House Bill Pleases Many...No Useless, er, User Fees...

Wednesday evening, June 27, 2007, leaders of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee and the Aviation Subcommittee introduced their take on FAA Reauthorization.

The Airports Council International-North American lauded the proposal because it raises to $7.00 the cap on Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs) that airports charge passengers to fund improvements not covered by the Airport Improvement Program (AIP).

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association also had good things to say:


WASHINGTON, DC, June 28, 2007 – Yesterday evening, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee introduced its version of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2007. The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) commends the House for this bipartisan legislation that significantly strengthens the effort to modernize the national air transportation system.

“This bill is extraordinarily positive,” said Pete Bunce, GAMA president and CEO. “It authorizes significant funding for facilities and equipment required for the implementation of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), strengthens the management structure of the Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO), incorporates key language requiring program and implementation reports, and begins the process of reducing or eliminating redundant FAA capital and operating expenses without adversely impacting safety."

The introduction of the bill comes shortly after Bunce appeared before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation, where he testified in support of Congress ensuring that realistic and executable timelines for program development, policy implementation, and rule development are incorporated in the plan for modernization.

“This legislation addresses many of the concerns raised by general aviation and puts in place building blocks required to move forward with NextGen,” said Bunce. “We are proud to have leaders like Chairmen Oberstar and Costello and ranking members Mica and Petri taking bold steps to ensure these critical needs are met in the NextGen process.”

Now things should get really interesting...the Senate has yet to move its proposal past the committee hearings, which could be good for us opponents of the ill-conceived FAA/ATA user-fee finance proposal...and this move by the House is certainly something to smile about.

But more potential battles remain -- the war is far from won. So keep speaking out!


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