MPA LEGISLATION REPORT
April 2008

GREETINGS! First, Here's an update from Washington, D.C. "Once again, the Bush Administration has taken a short-sighted approach to airport infrastructure funding in its proposed budget," American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) President Chip Barclay says. "The President's request for the critical Airport Improvement Program would be laughable if the problems facing air travelers weren't so serious.

As the Administration knows full-well, this request is destined to be ignored by a Congress that strongly supports AIP funding for its proven record in improving safety and alleviating air congestion and delays."

Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) also expresses its "extreme" disappointment. "Without increased funding, airports cannot fulfill their obligation to the flying public: to operate safe, secure, and efficient facilities," says ACI-NA President Greg Principato. "With delays and congestion at an all-time high, and a record one billion passengers expected in the skies by 2015, airports need to act now to improve capacity, and their ability to handle ever-increasing numbers of air travelers. The Administration's budget proposal will not allow for the kind of expansion that is vital to our aviation system."

Secondly, The Administration proposes almost $1 billion in cuts for FY2009 in the FAA's Airport Improvement Program (AIP). The FY09 proposed level of $2.75 billion is $765 million less than in 2008, and more than $1.1 billion below level proposed for the FAA Reauthorization Bill currently pending in Congress.

The Administration's FY09 budget also would eliminate funding for the Small Community air Service Development Program, as well as significantly reduce the Essential Air Service Program (EAS). "These programs are critical for small communities throughout this country," says Principato.

Thirdly, As the FAA's current authorization expired in fiscal year 2007, Congress has extended it several times now, using the General Aviation Trust Fund to keep the FAA operating until the Senate passes their own Reauthorization Bill to fund the FAA. I recently received an e-mail from Don Smith, USPA Member from Denton, TX about the FAA lobbying in Washington, D.C. for "user fees" At the LIT USPA meeting Don told them about a Denton FAASTeam Program Manager Steve Buckner, had been sent to Washington to lobby for "user fees".
After doing some investigation into this matter, I found out that the FAA has always been for "user fees", for several years. I do not know if they did any thing illegal by possibly using the taxpayers money for Lodging, Food, Gas, etc. But I have talked to AOPA Regulatory Affairs Office, and they are doing their own investigation of any wrong doing by the FAA.

Fourthly, Here is what we need to do, as MPA, USPA, EAA, TPA, NMPA, NPA, IPA, members is starting writing letters, e-mails, and calling your Senators, telling them when considering funding the FAA Reauthorization with the Senates own Bill Number. We need to make sure they do not, repeat, do not, include "user fees" tacked on to any amendment they may pass to fund the FAA.

This very critical if General Aviation is to survive, and have the freedom to fly, without being taxed for every service from the FAA.

I've just returned from a vacation trip to Washington, D.C., and talked to some key people in the Senate, and House of Representatives concerning this very matter.

Here's an update concerning Missouri Aviation. The only Airport and Aviation Bills are as follows:

Missouri House of Representatives
94th General Assembly, 2nd Regular Session (2008)
Bills Indexed by Subject
AIRCRAFT AND AIRPORTS

HB 1495 --- Sponsor: Bruns, Mark J. --- CoSponsor: Sater, David
Changes the laws regarding the Aviation Trust Fund and the funding for certain air traffic control towers

HB 1639 --- Sponsor: Bruns, Mark J. --- CoSponsor: Richard, Ron
Changes the laws regarding the Aviation Trust Fund and air traffic control towers

HB 1760 --- Sponsor: Storch, Rachel --- CoSponsor: Oxford, Jeanette Mott
Requires statewide elected officials and members of the General Assembly to report any use of a private plane, the cost of the flight, and all the passengers within 72 hours after the flight

HB 1888 --- Sponsor: Schoeller, Shane --- CoSponsor: Lampe, Sara
Allows cities to annex land within airport zones in Greene County if cities agree to enforce Springfield's airport zoning ordinance

HB 2221 --- Sponsor: St. Onge, Neal C.
Revises the definition of "commercial aircraft" as it relates to the taxation of aircraft by lowering the maximum certified gross take-off weight from 7,000 to 1,000 pounds

HCR 10 --- Sponsor: Scharnhorst, Dwight
Urges Congress to enact legislation to protect airline customers

HCR 43 --- Sponsor: Funderburk, Doug --- CoSponsor: Wells, Don
Urges the United States Air Force to reconsider its decision to replace a Boeing-made refueling tanker with a tanker supplied by a foreign country

HCR 46 --- Sponsor: Darrough, Bruce --- CoSponsor: Smith, Jason
Urges the United States Air Force to reconsider its decision to replace a Boeing-made refueling tanker with a tanker supplied by a foreign country

SB 930 --- Sponsor: Stouffer, Bill
Removes cap on amount of aviation generated revenue that may be deposited in state aviation trust fund and expands purposes for which moneys in the aviation trust fund may be used

SB 943 --- Sponsor: Clemens, Dan
Allows cities to annex land within airport zones in Greene County if cities agree to enforce Springfield's airport zoning ordinance

SB 947 --- Sponsor: Kennedy, Harry
Increases the cap on amount of aviation generated revenue that may be deposited in state aviation trust fund and expands purposes for which moneys in the aviation trust fund may be used

SB 1049 --- Sponsor: Kennedy, Harry
Expands sales tax exemption purchases of tangible personal property used in the repair and maintenance of aircraft

SB 1073 --- Sponsor: Dempsey, Tom
Creates a state and local sales and use tax exemption for defense articles sold to foreign governments




Note: Here's your web site address for Texas Legislation:
www.texas.gov.
Look for Transportation-Aviation, to search all Aviation Bills.

Note: Here's your web site address for Illinois Legislation:
www.illinois.gov.
Look for Transportation-Aviation, to search all Aviation Bills.

Now, In Conclusion, Remember, we as USPA, MPA, EAA, AOPA, or any other State Pilot Associations of which you may be a member, all have a powerful voice, be it here in Missouri, Indiana, Texas, or whatever state you may represent. Every group of pilots and taxpayers carries a strong voice to Washington, D.C., and on the State and Local Level.

So Let's not forget to exercise our privileges, and continue to make a "Difference for General Aviation."

SAFE FLYING!

Larry G. Harmon
Legislation Chairman
E-mail address: MPALHARMON228@aol.com


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