Aviation, particularly general and business aviation, faces a tough challenge in the next year or so. The Obama Administration sees the broader air sector and the small aircraft segment as targets for additional taxes . Furthermore, neither the Secretary nor the President has shown the requisite level of enthusiasm for NextGen needed to enact the legislation needed for implementation. While the House Transportation and Infrastructure Majority and Minority Leadership is actively moving towards Reauthorization, neither the Senate nor the Executive Branch has been vocal about what this critical legislation will look like. Those are major political hurdles.
AOPA invited a Congressman from Kansas, Sam Graves, who also co-chairs the GA Caucus, to inform the Sun and Fun attendees with how this informal Congressional body is doing. The Representative had positive comments. The group is six years old and has 239 members. It has become a facilitator of information and for example, it quickly issued a response to the FAA’s sleep apnea “policy”. He also cited the Caucus as an important player in the passage of the Small Aircraft Revitalization Act.
“All politics are local” was a truism coined by former House Speaker Tip O’Neil. Rep. Graves added that the Sun and Fun participants should return to their homes and contact their Senators and Congressperson. That’s wise advice. While your individual voice may appear to be small, registering your support for aviation NextGen and related issues as well as your adamant opposition to user fees tends to be generalized. The legislators’ staff persons become aware of such interest, research to see if there are others who are similarly situated and file such potential voters in their list of issues to follow/support to get their bosses reelected.
It is good news that the GA Caucus is having impact and great advice to make your views known.Share this article: