GA Caucus Fights Threat to Pilot Jobs

Group responds to provision in transportation bill’s fine print.

Members of the House General Aviation Caucus have sent a letter to congressional leaders opposing an amendment to a federal transportation bill that some say could kill the nation's air tour industry.

Eighteen representatives signed the May 30 letter to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Rep. John Mica (R-FL), whose committees will be considering a highway reauthorization bill that would give unprecedented control to the National Park Service to regulate flights over national parks and tribal lands, including eliminating them altogether.

The bill’s language would result in “lost jobs for pilots, drivers, tour guides, support staff, and local businesses and adversely impact the helicopter manufacturing, maintenance and parts industries,” the letter says. It also notes it would have adverse safety consequences and hurt the air-tour industry just as it is investing in “quiet technology” aircraft.

A joint House-Senate conference committee is currently merging competing versions of the bill.