MPA LEGISLATION REPORT
GREETINGS! This is my Fifth Report to you as MPA Members. First, Here's some more important information from Washington, D.C.
President Clinton on Thursday December 7TH signed an executive order creating the "Air Traffic Services Organization," a so-called (PBO) Performance-Based Organization inside the FAA that will run the air traffic control system. The President also called on Congress to finance ATC with "cost-based charges on commercial users of the air traffic system, "replacing existing excise taxes with user fees."
According to the Administration, the structural changes will help ATSO/ANSO Air Traffic Services Organization, and Air Navigation Services Organization to improve service-as in cut, advancement of ATC technology. To guide the new PBO's progress, President Clinton tapped five people with-we'll be charitable here-diverse backgrounds. Four of them have little to no professional aviation experience but, instead, seem to have been plucked from the rolls of those making substantial campaign contributions: Sharon Patrick, of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia; John W. Snow, with CSX Corporation, the railroad company; Leon Lynch, of the United Steel Workers; and John Cullinane, president of the Cullinane Group, a venture capital firm concentrating on high-technology companies.
Rounding out the five-subcommittee members, as the group's most knowledgeable on aviation matters: the immensely respected Nancy Landon Kassebaum Baker, former Republican U.S. Senator from Kansas, and former Chairperson of the Senate Subcommittee on Aviation.
Of course, the ability to really pull off this hoped-for-coup-eliminate $5 billion in annual delays even as traffic doubles in the next decade-hinges on whether Congress follows some White House suggestions, which include allowing ATSO/ANSO to borrow money and charge "Commercial Carriers" according to the normal laws of supply and demand, instead of the demand-neutral 10-percent ticket tax, levied on airline passengers.
Also, airports would be allowed to vary landing fees and demand higher fees based on congestion pricing - capacity versus demand. In other words, Clinton isn't leaving without one last grab at the brass ring that is "user fees." He needs no congressional approval to take the organizational steps to create ATSO/ANSO - they are all authorized by AIR-21.
Now, here's what we can do, contact your Congressman express your concerns about these new (PBO) Performance Based Organization's. Then have them vote, "no" on "user fees." All Aviation Groups, AOPA, EAA, USPA, and MPA needs to work together on this very important matter.
In addition to these web pages you can go to AOPA's Web Site for additional information: http://www.aopa.org
Look for Member's Page, where you can get any Airport Information AOPA has to offer. You can download the information or request any of the information to be sent directly to your address. A important reference source is AOPA's Airport Handbook. It is a very useful tool to learn what impact your Local Airport can have on the Community. We have to educate ourselves with all the Available Tools concerning Airports, to give us a better picture of why MPA has, and will continue working to protect our Airports in Missouri.
I will keep you informed on The Missouri Airport Protection Act (MAPA) as soon as we get a House Bill Number and Senate Bill Number assigned, but we have to get this out of the Transportation Committee. We still have lots of work ahead of us.
Now, in Conclusion, Remember we have a Real Battle Ahead of Us Concerning Missouri Aviation Issues.
We Need "To Work Together." "United We Stand, Divided We Fall."
Until Next Time!
Larry G. Harmon
E-mail address: MPALHARMON@aol.com
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