November 2003


First, While the U.S. Senate mulls over how to deal with the contentious FAA reauthorization bill now in its lap, a House panel is ready to look at a way to avoid all this brouhaha over privatization in the future: take Air Traffic Control away from the FAA, and give it to the Department of Defense. Rep. John Mica (R-FL), Chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee, is hosting a hearing  Thursday November 6th, to explore the proposal. John Carr, President of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, called the whole idea “silly” and declined to waste his time testifying at Mica’s meeting. “We would rather not meddle with the chairman’s misguided military musings,” Carr said in a news release last Monday.

Secondly, The FAA reauthorization bill is expected to come up for a vote on the Senate floor sometime this week. For the most part Republicans are supporting the bill, while Democrats oppose it. Republicans outnumber Democrats in the Senate by three votes. Senators opposed to the bill have been working to stall the showdown, and Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), a vocal opponent of ATC privatization, has threatened a filibuster to delay the vote even further. According to The Hill, an insider newspaper in Washington, Lautenberg plans to read aloud from transcripts of air traffic controllers landing planes in the wake of the terror attacks of 9/11/01, as well as reports of near misses and crashes in countries where towers are privatized.

Thirdly, Not all aviation lobbyists are in alignment with NATCA’s staunch opposition to the FAA bill now in the Senate. NBAA President Shelley Longmuir praised the House for passing the act, and called on the Senate to quickly get it approved. “This legislation provides for a strategic investment in an industry that feeds our national, regional, and local economic engines,” Longmuir said in a news release last Friday. “Passage of this bill will inject nearly $60 billion of critical and timely investment in the nation’s aviation system.” The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) also applauded the House vote. “This is a very important and much needed bill. We are glad to see it finally moving forward and we hope the Senate will quickly pass it, “said GAMA President Ed Bolen.

Fourthly, Here’s an update Concerning Missouri Legislation. The Missouri State Senate is not in Session. The Senate will convene the Second Regular Session of the 92ND General Assembly on Wednesday, January 7, 2004.

The Missouri House of Representatives is not doing much either. Nothing more to report at this time concerning Missouri Legislation.

Now, In Conclusion, Remember, we as USPA, MPA, EAA, AOPA, or any other State Pilot Association you may be a member of, we all have a powerful voice, be it here in Missouri, or whatever State you represent. Because, all groups 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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