February 2002

GREETINGS! First, Here is an update from Washington, D.C. Much appears to rest on direction from John Magaw, the new Under Secretary of Transportation for Security, officially appointed by President Bush in January. A concern: the $1.5 billion authorized by the new security legislation, was not yet appropriated, and Congress was hedging.

Airport budgets are taking a hit. It doesn't help that the entire political chain is being challenged financially. We have $3.3 billion coming to AIP in FY02 while matching funds become a serious issue.

The Bush Administration's proposed budget for the FAA is good news for General Aviation in the short term, but there are storm clouds on the horizon. The Budget does request the full funding for airport and airway improvements as established by the AIR-21 Bill. That means all of the Trust Fund Monies collected will be spent on Aviation.

The Administration also said it would not seek "user fees." Buried within the budget proposal, however, is a note that the Administration will evaluate the effectiveness of the yet-to-be formed Air Traffic Chouse control Performance-Based Organization (PBO). If it doesn't work as planned, the Department of Transportation will consider "partial privatization" or "franchising" parts of Air Traffic Control.

Secondly, Here's an update on Richards-Gebaur Airport. AOPA has joined an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court on the closure of Richards-Gebaur Memorial Airport in Kansas City, MO. AOPA's appeal complements a petition filed late last year by Friends of Richards-Gebaur Airport. AOPA contends that the FAA acted improperly when it "released" Kansas City from its Federal Obligation to maintain the property as an airport and allowed the City to turn the facility into a freight yard. If the Supreme Court agrees to hear the appeal and rules in favor of AOPA, it could establish a precedent making it harder to close General Aviation Airports.

Thirdly, Here's an update on our Missouri Aviation Bills. As I mentioned in a recent e-mail, The Senate Aviation Jet Fuel Sales Tax Bill which was SB968 is now SCS SB970.

Basically, the Senate Transportation Committee has rolled SB968 in another Bill, and it is now called SCS SB970, which stands for Senate Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 970. Senate Bill 725 is the Missouri Airport Protection Act, Sponsored by: Senator Doyle Childers. We are still waiting for a hearing date.

House Bill 1207 is the Missouri Airport Protection Act, Sponsored by: Representative Denny Merideth, is tentatively set for Hearing on Tuesday, February 12TH, 2002. Time: 3:00 P.M., Place: Hearing Room #7, Which is located in the Capitol Basement, on the West Side near the Cafeteria.

Now, In Conclusion, Let's get busy contacting our State Representative, and Senator, tell him or her to Support both of these vitally important Aviation Bills. Because we have to protect and preserve our Missouri Airports.

Let's all continue working together; we will make a Difference for General Aviation in Missouri.

Until Next Time!

Larry G. Harmon
Legislation Chairman
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