May 2006

GREETINGS! First, Here's an update from Washington, D.C. FAA sees United States Aviation again reaching for the stars, with airlines expected to surpass the one billion passengers level over the ten-year forecast period. In line with that projection, DOT Secretary Norm Mineta opened his brief speech by saying," We better be prepared to expand capacity." Only problem is, FAA is crying poor, as is the Administration, which wants to cut more than $700 million from the Airport Improvement Program, a leading mechanism for expanding capacity at airports. FAA talks the talk, using terms like "cost-based" and "managing like a business;" yet, the walk remains the question.

Secondly, General Aviation will see its fleet grow from 214,591 units in 2005 to some 252,775 in 2017, a 1.4 percent annual growth rate. Much of this year's FAA discussion centered around the expected entry this year of the very light jets (VLJs). The Eclipse 500 is expected to get its Type Certificate by June, and FAA projects that some 100 VLJs will be in service by year-end; the agency expects 350-500 VLJs to enter the market over the next several years.

Thirdly, FAA Administrator Marion C. Blakey says the entry of the VLJs is yet another personal strain on the air traffic system. "It's certainly that our workload continues to grow," Blakey told attendees. "Enroute traffic is up 3 percent, and we expect it to stay that way. Over the next few years, we expect general aviation to make another jump because of the very light jets that are in the offing." Besides the strains on the air traffic control system, the Administrator also chided past negotiations with the controllers, saying, "The last contract left the taxpayer with the short straw…"What was to cost $200 million ended up at $1.2 billion. That won't happen again. We cannot and will not sign a contract that we cannot afford. Salary increases of 75 percent for our controllers are a thing of the past."

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

Bills Indexed by Subject

HB 1529 --- Sponsor: Storch, Rachel
Requires statewide elected officials and the General Assembly to report any use of a private plane, the cost of the flight, and the passengers aboard the flight within 72 hours after the flight

HB 2005 --- Sponsor: Aull, Joe
Specifies the purposes for which the Civil Air Patrol may be used and clarifies the employment status of air patrol members and the sources of funding for various missions

SB 767
--- Sponsor: Graham, Chuck
Requires Office of Administration and Highway Patrol to oversee use of state aircraft and places restrictions on certain state officers with respect to use of state aircraft.

Note: Here's your web site address for Texas Legislation:
Look for Transportation-Aviation, to search all Aviation Bills.

Note: Here's your web site address for Illinois Legislation:
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."



Larry G. Harmon
Legislation Chairman
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