September 2003

First, Here’s an update from Washington, D.C. The U.S. House and Senate have each approved FAA reauthorization bills that contain numerous benefits for General Aviation.

Perhaps most significantly, each bill contains language requiring that air traffic control (ATC) be returned to it’s “inherently governmental” classification. The White House Office of Management and Budget had declared ATC a commercial function eligible to be contracted out. AOPA believes that this is the first step toward a privatized ATC system and user fees, and pushed hard to have Congress reclassify it.

The House version would only reclassify the controllers’ function, while the Senate version would include flight service station and equipment maintenance functions as well.

The White House has threatened to veto the entire FAA reauthorization bill if the reclassification measure remains in the final version.

Both versions also include a “Meigs Legacy” amendment, which imposes stiff fines on communities that fail to give adequate notice before closing an airport that’s part of the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Airport sponsors would have to pay $10,000 a day for every day short of the required notice that an airport is closed.

“The Meigs Legacy legislation will provide the FAA with a big enough stick that any community even contemplating closing such a crucial airport will be forced to think twice,” said AOPA President Phil Boyer.
The House and Senate each approved an amendment that would require the FAA to regularly rejustify the need for the Baltimore-Washington Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), or any other ADIZ that may be imposed over the United States.

The FAA reauthorization bill is a multiyear spending blueprint that outlines what Congress believes the FAA’s priorities need to be. The House and Senate versions differ in a number of respects, and need to be reconciled by a conference committee.

Secondly, 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. The Aircraft and Aviation Bills, are dead this year. We will need to regroup our efforts, before January 7, 2003.

Nothing more to report concerning Missouri Legislation.

Now, In Conclusion, Remember, we as MPA, USPA, 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. Because 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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