RIGHT ON ERIC BYERS–THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO FOLLOW REQUIRED PROCEDURES IN EXTENDING ITS POWERS!

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AIN Blog: Just Say No

Eric Byers, NATA, VP

Eric Byers, NATA’s Vice President of Industry and Government Affairs, wrote a column for his association’s Aviation Business Journal that inventories the penumbra of power being exercised by TSA, FAA and IRS. Each example that Mr. Byers cites involves the exercise of other than rule making under the Administrative Procedure Act, without the protections provided by the notice and comment process and with “interpretations” extending the powers of the respective agencies.

The government is attempting to use its discretion to require limiting and expensive security procedures, to compel unjustified and expensive airworthiness testing of avionics and to add taxes on the management of Part 91 aircraft. Rather than encounter the criticisms which are engendered by the NPRM process, these agencies seek to expand their authority by adding dimensions to their existing rules.

There is an aphorism that is so powerful that it has been attributed to Henry Thoreau, Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine. Whoever is the author, the thought is apt here and should be written in the vestibules of TSA, FAA and IRS, to wit:

              The government, that governs least, governs best.

Libertarian philosophies are attractive, but unrealistic in the context of today’s heavily bureaucratic government. However, the idea, that significant rules can and should be generated without benefits of the procedural protections, is an anathema to our democratic principles.

If TSA, FAA and IRS feel compelled to further regulate the already heavily regulated aviation industry, the leaders of those agencies should compel their staffs to comply with the APA and subject their proposals to review.

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