April 2009

GREETINGS! First, Here is an update from Washington, D.C. A pilot, a labor relations consultant, and the former president of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), ATP-rated Randy Babbitt is now officially President Barack Obama’s choice to serve as FAA Administrator. Babbitt’s nomination must now pass the Senate before he can set to the present priorities of (and problems posed by) air traffic control modernization and funding authorization. The FAA has been operating since 2007 without official funding reauthorization, but under temporary funding extensions. Hot-topic issues yet to be resolved revolve mainly around funding plans and the possibility of user fees that go beyond current taxation methods and do not exclude general aviation operations. Babbitt will also walk right into the long-brewed enmity of FAA/air traffic controller relations. AOPA offered a statement, on Friday April 3, 2009, welcoming the announcement of Babbitt’s nomination and looking forward to working with the new administrator, once confirmed. Babbitt’s nomination is viewed as “labor friendly” and is supported by ALPA, and the Air Transport Association whose president James May called Babbitt “a superb choice.”

Secondly, In its annual forecast, released on Tuesday April 6, 2009, the FAA said it expects U.S. aircraft operations to decrease almost 6 percent this year compared to 2008 levels but then start to rebound in 2010. Operations overall will then grow at about 1.5 percent per year through 2025, with general aviation growing slightly faster at 1.8 percent per year. The total GA fleet should continue to grow at the rate of about 1 percent per year. “A vibrant, efficient and green aviation system will play a key role in our nation’s economic recovery,” said United States Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. The report noted that GA operations at combined FAA and contract towers were down 5.6 percent last year, the steepest decline since 2003. GA activity at consolidated traffic facilities (FAA TRACONs) fell 6.3 percent, while the number of GA aircraft handled at FAA en-route centers decreased 7.6 percent. The number of student pilots decreased 4 percent in 2008, the fourth consecutive year of decline in this category.

Missouri House of Representatives
95th General Assembly, 1st Regular Session (2009)
Bills Indexed by Subject

HB 737 --- Sponsor: Schaaf, Robert
Decreases the percentage of an aircraft's true value in money to 7% when assessing personal property tax on certain aircraft

HB 1018 --- Sponsor: Komo, Sam --- CoSponsor: Flook, Tim
Authorizes a state and local sales and use tax exemption for purchases of aviation jet fuel by air common carriers for immediate consumption or shipment on transoceanic flights

HB 1140
--- Sponsor: Schoeller, Shane
Allows airports to retain sales taxes collected on enplanements at the airport for marketing purposes

SB 535 --- Sponsor: Days, Rita D.
Creates the crime of breach airport security

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

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

All other states should follow this same format, to search your specific state's aviation and airport bills.

Remember, that as members of USPA, MPA, TPA, TXAA, NMPA, NPA, IPA, EAA, AOPA, or other pilot associations of which you may be a member, we have a powerful voice, in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Texas, or whatever state you may represent. Every group of taxpayers and pilots carries a strong voice to Washington, D.C., as well as at the state and local level.
We need to learn how to use our voices, and speak up for general aviation.

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


Larry G. Harmon
Legislation Chairman
E-mail address:

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