GAMA/NBAA Tell Congress How to Help

** U.S. Capitol (Martin Falbisoner)**

On Thursday, GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce and NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen both testified at a House of Representatives aviation subcommittee hearing on the state of American aviation. Bunce cited six bullet-point recommendations for the lawmakers to consider when moving forward on aviation issues. He also called for "clear and consistent leadership in the international aviation marketplace" from the FAA. And he added that the Department of Transportation should be given "a clearer role in advocating for the aviation community within the government and internationally."

Bolen specifically mentioned the transition to the NextGen air transportation system and its potential for reducing costs for industry and government, while improving safety and reducing the environmental impact of aviation by a significant margin. Bolen cited NBAA's three "Guiding Principles" for legislators and the FAA, to be remembered when charting general aviation lawmaking to come. They include:

  • • Federal investment in the FAA through a robust general fund contribution to the agency's operating budget;
  • • Preservation of the general aviation fuel-based revenue system, which provides an efficient, fair funding mechanism from the GA community while also encouraging investment in newer, cleaner, quieter and more efficient aircraft;
  • • Continued direct congressional oversight over the FAA funding system, providing a stable and consistent level of funding for the national aviation system.

Bunce's recommended actions for Congress included:

  • • Partner with industry to create efficiencies and streamline the certification process, which will cut certification costs for the government and industry while increasing safety;
  • • Pursue collaborative, data-driven efforts, such as the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee, to advance technologies to improve safety;
  • • Recognize fiscal realities of the federal budget by leveraging public and private expertise to advance aviation safety;
  • • Deliver the consolidation report that Congress called for in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 and begin the process of acting on that plan;
  • • Prioritize NextGen resources; and
  • • Ensure that resources the industry pays to the federal government in the form of taxes and fees for FAA operations and investments are protected from future government fiscal disruptions.

Summing up, Bunce said, "As we go forward, we need to ensure that all segments of the aviation industry have an input into charting the future of U.S. aviation policies and that general aviation is integral to the economic success in the U.S. and globally."

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Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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