GA Leaders Say FAA Reauthorization ‘Absolutely Critical’

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By Julie Boatman

The FAA Reauthorization Bill made it this far through a polarized U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year. Now it faces an equally charged path through the Senate in order to cross the finish line.

With more than 2,000 “unique requests” logged from members of Congress and around the industry, according to a statement posted on its website, the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Aviation invited key stakeholders from the aviation to gather in Washington, D.C., on Thursday for a hearing to outline exactly why passage of the long-term authorization bill is critical.

The subcommittee called upon witnesses to provide testimony at the hearing, including:

  • Pete Bunce, president and CEO, General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA)
  • Rich Santa, president, National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA)
  • Paul Bradbury, director, Portland International Jetport, on behalf of American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE)
  • Gary Peterson, executive director, Transport Workers Union (TWU)

Key Elements for GA

Given its general aviation focus, GAMA’s points should find specific interest to the pilot community. GAMA provided an outline of Bunce’s top points, which included the following and can be found within the testimony linked here.

* The need for a new Assistant Administrator for Rulemaking and reviews of the current process to reduce inefficiencies and further safety, security, and innovation priorities

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* Agency certification expertise through investments in FAA’s digital capabilities and technical expertise, including training to enhance safety and reduce unnecessary delays

* Agency progress in areas like safety management systems, advanced air mobility, unmanned aviation systems, and cybersecurity

* Industry safety and competitiveness

* The role of technology to improve safety and advance the industry

* The important relationships between industry, the FAA and Congress

* A pilot program to examine the use of technology to deliver more efficient digital clearances to general aviation aircraft

* The Eliminate Aviation Gasoline Lead Emissions (EAGLE) initiative to ensure a safe and sound transition to unleaded fuels for piston-engine aircraft

* Aviation’s environmental sustainability goals

* Advanced air mobility opportunities and the infrastructure needed for it to thrive; and

Industry’s maintenance and manufacturing workforce

In a release, Bunce “commended the committee leadership and entire House for passing its FAA Reauthorization bill (H.R. 3935) earlier this year and expressed optimism about U.S. Senate action on an FAA bill in the near-term.”

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 Those who wish to watch the hearing in its entirety can do so here.

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