Below is an email sent from Ed Bolen, CEO of NBAA, in response to the introduction of the FAA Reauthorization Bill today. More details will be coming in the next day or so. However, this will be a very fast moving initiative with no time to spare. The WAA will continue to update our membership as more details are unveiled, but we appreciate everyone staying engaged and responding quickly.
As anticipated, earlier today, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster introduced his FAA reauthorization bill, H.R. 4441, the Aviation Innovation, Reform and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act of 2016.
Not surprisingly, the legislation calls for the privatization of our nation’s air traffic control (ATC) system. The private ATC system would be overseen by an 11-person board, with the commercial airlines and their pilots directly controlling five seats. General aviation would have two seats, and the remaining seats would be controlled by the Secretary of Transportation and the air traffic controllers. The bill would allow all non-commercial operations to continue to pay through existing fuel taxes; Part 135 operations would be required to pay through new, yet-to-be-defined, user fees.
In short, while the association believes Chairman Shuster’s legislation has some good elements, the proposal’s plan to privatize the ATC system is such a pronounced threat for the future ability of business aviation to fly when and where it needs to, that NBAA is compelled to oppose the legislation. NBAA raised this point in the statement we issued today, which is attached and enclosed below this email.
We expect a hearing on H.R. 4441 to take place on Wednesday, Feb. 10, and for the bill to be “marked up” by the T&I committee on Feb. 11. The Chairman has indicated he hopes to have the bill considered by the full House of Representatives by the end of the month.
Having analyzed the bill and taken a position on it today, NBAA will send a message to the association’s full membership tomorrow, outlining our concerns and providing a means for people to contact their members of Congress in opposition to H.R. 4441.
President and CEO, NBAA
Shuster FAA Reauth Bill altv 020316h (2).pdf