MPA LEGISLATION REPORT
GREETINGS! First, Here's an update from Washington, D.C. President Bush on Monday February 3rd gave Congress
the Administration's proposed budget for the next fiscal year. And for the first time in six years, the budget
plan does not include any attempts to impose user fees on general aviation or privatize air traffic control.
The budget proposal covers fiscal year 2004, which runs from October 1, 2003, to September 30, 2004. But this is just what the Administration thinks Congress should spend; it's far from being final. In fact, Congress still hasn't set the budget for this fiscal year, which is already half over.
The President proposed funding the FAA at $14 billion, a three-percent increase over what he had proposed for this fiscal year. Key items that saw increased funding requests include WAAS and OASIS, with requests for $120.3 million and $19.7 million, respectively. OASIS is designed to replaced the current antiquated computer system in flight service stations, and will make it easier for FSS specialists to call up the information they need to brief pilots.
WAAS (wide area augmentation system) improves the accuracy, integrity and reliability of the GPS signal, and will provide ILS-like instrument approaches to almost all-general aviation airports.
The President emphasized a special focus on safety, requesting $7.1 billion for operation, and maintenance of the current air traffic control system, new air traffic control equipment, and development of a replacement air traffic data, and telecommunications system.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which has moved over to the new Department of Homeland Security, would receive $4.8 billion.
Secondly, The Aviation Industry and FAA are back to relying on continuing resolutions to fund the industry's government functions and the Airport Improvement Program, with Congress still not having passed a FY2003 budget for the calendar year which began October 1, 2002. This is also the final year of AIR-21, the three-year aviation authorization that brought unprecedented levels of infrastructure funding, and industry leaders are moving to have another multi-year package passed for 2004 and beyond.
Officials report uncertainty, however, with a wavering economy and the pending debate on how to fund U.S. security needs.
Thirdly, At it's annual convention, the Airports Council International-North America released it most recent data on the economic impact of the U.S. Airports.
- Create $507 billion each year in economic activity.
- Account for some 1.9 million jobs on-airport; 4.8 million are created in local communities. Total earnings: $190 billion.
- Domestic passenger growth is projected to grow from 628 million enplanements in 2001 to 915 million in 2013.
- U.S. airports account for some 6.7 million jobs on and off the airport. On-airport employment includes airports, airlines, fixed based operators, and other tenants.
- For more information, contact www.ACI-NA.org
Fourthly, Here's an update Concerning Missouri Legislation. We now have one new House Bill. It's HB275, Establishes the Missouri Airport Protection Act. Sponsor: Representative Denny Merideth, and CoSponsor: Danielle Moore. Proposed Effective Date: 8/28/2003. Last Action: 1/28/2003-Referred: Local Government.
Hearing not scheduled, and the Bill is currently not on calendar.
Here is a list of the Missouri House of Representatives, Local Government CommitteeCommittee Members:
Robert Johnson, Chairman Kevin Engler
Jason Brown, Vice Chairman Thomas E. George
Randy Angst Cathy Jolly
Amber (Holly) Boykins Susan C. Phillips
Melba J. Curls Ray Salva
Michael Daus Vicki Schneider
Cynthia Davis Thomas Villa
Mike Dethrow Wes Wagner
Edgar G.H. Emery Jay Wasson
For more information go to: www.house.state.mo.us/bills03/commit/com173.htm
If you know any of these Committee Members, contact them; let them know to vote in favor of HB275. Everyone else needs to contact every Committee Member, let him or her know that we need their support, it's vital to Missouri Aviation.
Now, in Conclusion, remember we as USPA, MPA, AOPA, EAA, or any other Pilot Association Groups, have a powerful voice in Missouri, and Washington, DC. So Let's exercise that privilege and continue to make a "Difference for General Aviation".
Until Next Time!
Larry G. Harmon
E-mail address: MPALHARMON@sbcglobal.net
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