January 2005

GREETINGS! First, Here's an update from Washington, D.C. The 109th Congress officially started business last Wednesday January 5th, and that brings new challenges on Capital Hill. That's because Republican leaders in the House created a new, permanent Committee on Homeland Security, which will have responsibility over the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) as well. The TSA was under the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, chaired by Rep. Don Young of Alaska. Chairman Young is a pilot from a state that depends on general aviation. User Fees again loom large on the horizon.

Secondly, For eight hours on inauguration day, Washington, D.C., and the skies for miles around it, will be completely off limits to general aviation. Similarly, the streets of the nation's capital will be closed to vehicular traffic. Security officials have declared that President Bush's inauguration on January 20TH is a "national security event" and the FAA, responding to orders from the Defense and Homeland Security departments, has issued a flight advisory prohibiting all general aviation VFR (and most IFR) flight within or above the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).

Thirdly, The Cheers have turned to jeers among National Association of Air Traffic Specialists (NAATS) members as they get the fine print of a placement plan for some of the Automated Flight Service Station (AFSS) workers who may (likely will) lose their jobs to privatization. You see, while AFSS workers would be out on the street this year, according to a news release issued by NAATS, there are no jobs vacancies left for them in the current fiscal year. According to the release, the FAA's Assistant Administrator for Human Resources, Ventris Gibson, said the 435 new controller jobs that will be hired this year would all come from outside the agency, which angered NAATS President Kate Breen. "This year there are over 435 controller jobs that could be filled by qualified employees within the FAA, employees that the FAA may involuntarily separate (possibly that means fire) later this year," she said.

Fourthly, Here's an update Concerning Missouri Aviation. The only Airports and Aviation Bills are as follows:

Missouri House of Representatives
93nd General Assembly, 1st Regular Session (2005)

Bills Indexed by Subject

HB 38 --- Sponsor: Jack Jackson
Authorizes an income tax designation to the Airborne Law Enforcement Fund

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."



Larry G. Harmon
Legislation Chairman
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