July 2003

First, Here's an update from Washington, D.C. The fast track for aviation funding continues in Congress, with both the House and Senate passing bills for multi-year authorization. The House passed H.R. 2115, a four-year $59 billion authorization that includes a Meigs Field legacy provision that would establish a $10,000/day fine if airports are not given 30 days notice before being closed.

The Senate, meanwhile, passed S.824, which would provide $43.5 billion over three years for FAA programs. The Senate version would extend the small community air service development pilot program until 2006, with a budget of $27.5 million per year, and would also establish within DOT an Office of Aerospace and Aviation Liaison to coordinate industry research programs and priorities. The bill would also establish a National Air Traffic Management System Development Office at FAA to develop the next-generation ATC system plan.

The Legislation now heads to a House/Senate conference, where a key provision to be resolved is potential financial relief for General Aviation Companies who suffered losses due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Secondly, The FAA at 12:01 A.M. EDT Thursday, July 10, 2003, officially turned on the Wide Augmentation System (WAAS). WAAS enhances GPS and is to eventually provide ILS-like precision approaches to thousands of General Aviation Airports that don't have them today.

"WAAS is the answer for providing precision approaches to all of those airports where ILS just isn't possible. And we can provide an approach with vertical guidance to each runway end." FAA Administrator Marion Blakey admitted at the press conference that WAAS took longer and was more expensive than originally forecast. "But we really are talking about rocket science here," she said. "We were doing things that had never been done before. The general aviation community will be the first to benefit from this system. I know you've been eager for this, and I applaud your patience."

Thirdly, Here's an update Concerning Missouri Legislation. The only Aircraft And Aviation Bills in the Missouri House of Representatives is as follows:

1. HB 275 Sponsor: Denny J. Merideth, CoSponsor: Danielle Moore.
Establishes the Missouri Airport Protection Act.
2. HB 476 Sponsor: Tom Dempsey, CoSponsor: Joe Smith.
Regulate aviation noise generated near Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.
3. SB 564 Sponsor: Charles Gross.
Changes governance of the St.Louis International Airport.
Last updated July 9, 2003.

As many of you may know, Representative Denny J. Merideth III , District 162, Democrat, Resigned June 10, 2003. I've had the pleasure of working with Denny for several years now, trying to get passage of the Missouri Airport Protection Act. I even testified before the House Transportation Committee, when I was President of the Missouri Pilots Association several years ago. This is a real experience for any of us as Pilots and Taxpayers. We as Members of MPA will greatly Miss Representative Denny J. Merideth III, as he was a Pilot, Friend, to everyone who came in contact with him. It has been a rewarding experience working with you Denny, and I know we will finally see passage of the Missouri Airport Protection Act sometime in the future. As finally a dream come true, after so many years of hard word, and labor. I wish you Denny, your wife, and family the best in your new opportunities. Take Care, and God Bless!

Now, In Conclusion, Remember, we as USPA, MPA EAA, AOPA, or any other State Pilot Associations you may be a Member of, we all have a powerful voice, be it here in Missouri, or whatever State you live in, also we carry a strong voice to Washington, D.C. So Let's not forget to exercise our privileges, and continue to make a "Difference for General Aviation."

Until Next Time!

Larry G. Harmon
Legislation Chairman
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