Despite Outcry, FAA Registry Remains Closed

Aviation leaders hold rally on Capitol Hill.



As the partial government shutdown drags on into its third week, aircraft manufacturers, brokers and dealers are still being hamstrung by the closure of the FAA registration office in Oklahoma City,which is preventing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of aircraft sales transactions from closing.

Aviation leaders, exasperated by Washington's inaction to remedy the situation, held a rally last week on Capitol Hill to urge lawmakers to allow "vital aviation services" to resume by reopening the FAA Registry.

"Imagine if no citizen of the United States could buy or sell a car, purchase or re-finance a home, or if the sale of any other critical goods came to a complete and grinding halt," said National Business Aviation Association president Ed Bolen. "That's what has basically happened in business aviation," which is far more regulated than other industries and therefore has been hit harder.

NBAA and other aviation industry leaders also sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx urging him to reopen the FAA registration office. The shutdown, the letter said, has meant that aircraft cannot be purchased, sold, imported, exported, and in some cases, flown in the United States.

So far, no matter how loudly aviation lobbyists decry the shutdown or who they talk with, the situation stays exactly the same.

"The many small and midsize companies that rely on the Registry to be open and accessible are hurting, and the shutdown is harming the industry in a host of other ways as well," Bolen said. "Simply put, until government leaders can get the FAA reopened, an essential American industry remains on an indefinite layover. The general aviation community wants the opportunity to, once again, be an engine that propels this economy. Give us this chance."

House and Senate leaders have been working to find a way to reopen the government and avoid defaulting on America's debt, but contentious negotiations that began on October 1 have not resulted in a deal. NBAA warns that if the shutdown continues through the end of this month, more than $1 billion worth of aircraft deals will be affected.

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