MPA LEGISLATION REPORT
GREETINGS! First, Here's an update from Washington, D.C. Besides the top officials of the Airports Council
International, North America, other industry leaders were on hand at the association's annual Conference &
Exhibition here this past fall, including the new FAA Administrator, and Admiral James Loy, head of the Transportation
Security Administration (TSA).
Marion C. Blakey, who recently left as head of the National Transportation Safety Board to become the FAA Administrator, told the airport group that runway safety remains a high priority, as it has been at the NTSB. She also echoed airports' concern about AIP (Airport Improvement Program) monies being spent for security. In 2002, says Blakey, $561 million of Airport Improvement Program dollars went to security projects, an 800 percent increase. "We cannot cannibalize our capital budgets," she says.
On the security front, Admiral Loy, Under Secretary of Transportation for Security at TSA, reiterated that he is confident "we can achieve the security level to deter this new enemy." He relates that while the initial focus has been on aviation and airports, the TSA will heighten its focus on marine and land transport in the months ahead.
Loy says that the agency is reviewing the trusted traveler program proposal supported by airport groups and says it could help the customer flow process by minimizing re-screening. At the conference, Tom Blank, TSA's Acting Associate Under Secretary, says the elimination of the controversial 300-foot rule is still being examined as part of the agency's "unnecessary rule review process."
While confident that TSA will be up to the task of meeting its mandated deadlines, Loy concedes that it will depend on whether or not it is given "adequate resources" by Congress. That, of course, means funding, a major concern of airport groups and in a state of flux because of the impasse in Congress related to the delayed FY2003 budget bill. Security funding like AIP, has been caught up in the 3-month appropriation cycle heading into 2003, which is also hampering AIP distribution decisions at FAA, says officials.
Officials also are concerned about the inability of TSA and airports to come to terms on leasing agreements for space the agency now occupies at airport facilities. However, officials from FAA's airports division are offering to intervene when an airport and TSA reach an impasse.
Secondly, Here's an update Concerning Missouri Legislation. Here's an update on HB275. The House Committee held a Public Hearing on Tuesday March 4, 2003: Local Government. The Bill still is in the House Committee to vote on HB275. Here's a Summary of the Introduced Bill:
This Bill requires the Highways and Transportation Commissions to establish an airspace review and permit process to regulate structures that may be erected within navigable airspace and to ensure that they do not interfere with air navigation.
The Commission must investigate all permit applications, taking into consideration the safety and welfare of persons and property in the air and on the ground. The commission may approve application for temporary structures if it is evident that the proposed temporary structure will not adversely affect safety or air navigation. Permits may be withheld upon Federal Aviation Administration investigation of any type. For more information: http://www.house.state.mo.us/bills03/bilsum/intro/sHB275I.htm
If you need to know any of the Local Government Committee Members go to:
Also if you would like to read the full Bill Text for HB275 use the first hyperlink above that will give you a full copy of the proposed bill.
Now, what we need to do as MPA Members and taxpayers, is to contact this Local Government Committee members and express your concerns to them, and that we need their support in passage of this bill. It's vital to Missouri Aviation.
Now, in Conclusion, Remember, we as USPA, MPA, AOPA, EAA, or any other State Pilot Association have a powerful voice in Missouri, and Washington, D.C. So Let's exercise our privileges 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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