MPA LEGISLATION REPORT
February 2008

GREETINGS! First, Here's an update from Washington. D.C. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters this week told a gathering of aviation industry leaders in Washington, D.C., that Congress needs to act, and act soon, on an FAA Reauthorization Bill.

Her speech presented the same old administration song and dance to the tune of user fees, excessive tax increases on general aviation, and congestion pricing for access into certain airports.

Speaking to the Aero Club of Washington, Peters noted that it has been nearly a year since the Bush Administration sent its proposal containing radical financing changes to Capitol Hill for consideration. Both the House and the Senate rejected that proposal for user fees, and a 70-cent-per-gallon tax on avgas, and jet fuel in favor of the current tax-based structure, although the Senate retained vestiges of the administration's user fee proposal.

In late summer, the full House approved its version (H.R. 2881), but the Senate has yet to bring its two competing versions to the floor for debate.
In a statement issued the morning after Peters' comments, Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.), the Chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee, reminded Peters that the House has done its part, and joined the call for the Senate to act soon.
"I am sure that Secretary Peters remembers that the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2881, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2007, last September," Costello said. "It took the introduction and passage of that legislation and the rigorous oversight hearings our subcommittee held for the Department of Transportation and the FAA to take action on so many of the issues Secretary Peters mentioned yesterday."

The House version contains no user fees and inflation-adjusted increases in general aviation fuel taxes. The Senate Commerce Committee has approved a $25 user fee for turbine aircraft.

The two versions need to be reconciled in the full Senate, then the Senate and House needs to agree on a compromise version that can be sent to the White House for President Bush's signature.

In the meantime, a stopgap measure is keeping the FAA operating through February. But pending airport improvement projects are stuck in a holding pattern because the temporary funding does not give the FAA permission to approve new projects.

Secondly, The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommends FAA require all cargo airplanes operating under FAR 121 install fire suppression systems.

Thirdly, Texas Transportation Commission approves some $5,090.000 in funding for the design of a replacement runway and control tower at Collin County Regional Airport in McKinney. Project is estimated to cost $56 million and is scheduled for completion in late 2012. Construction on a new tower is planned for 2008.

Fourthly, 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

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

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



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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