November 2007

GREETINGS! First, Here's an update from Washington, D.C. Department of Transportation (DOT) Mary E. Peters announces that Captain Henry P. (Hank) Krakowski is selected to serve as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the FAA's air traffic organization. Krakowski will over see the operational and financial performance of the air traffic control system and the FAA's research and acquisition programs. His background includes flying, labor relations, air traffic, and scheduling. Position was previously held by Russ Chew, now with JetBlue.

Secondly, The House passed a bill this past Wednesday November 7, 2007 that would extend the authorization for most Federal Aviation Administration programs through December to give lawmakers more time to complete a full overhaul.

The underlying legislation (S2265), which passed by voice vote, would reauthorize the Essential air Service program for one year.

On the floor, lawmakers used a procedural maneuver to add the text of a bill (HR3540) that would extend the FAA's other programs through calendar 2007.

The FAA is already operating under short-term authorization enacted as part of a fiscal 2008 continuing resolution (PL 108-176), which lasts through November 16.

The House has passed a full, four-year FAA bill (HR 2881), but the Senate has not considered its version (S 1300).
Tom Petri of Wisconsin, the ranking Republican on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation, said there is no chance for enacting the full reauthorization bill by November 16. The bill passed Wednesday "simply continues aviation programs under the same terms and conditions as were in effect on September 30, 2007," when the last full authorization expired, Petri said.

Thirdly, The underlying Essential Air legislation, which the Senate passed October 30, would ensure that commercial airlines keep flying to small communities that otherwise would not be served because the routes are not profitable enough.

The House-passed version would, among other things, extend through December 31, the contract authority of the Airport Improvement Program (AIP), at $918.75 million. That amount, when annualized, continues funding authority at fiscal 2007 levels, the committee said.

The House measure also would extend through year's end the Transportation Secretary's authority to limit $100 million the third-party liability exposure of airlines and aircraft manufacturers in any lawsuits related to a terrorist event.

Fourthly, Will Congress Raid the Aviation Trust Fund? That's the question raised by a Wall Street Journal commentary on this past Wednesday November 7. The procedural rules that would allow it to happen are complex, the sausage factory analogy certainly applies, but according to the WSJ, Congress could pilfer the $10 billion per year raised by airline excise taxes (and GA fuel taxes) and use it to balance the budget, so they don't have to impose higher taxes on the middle class, as they would otherwise have to, under their own rules, to balance the budget.

This sleight of hand will be made possible only if the House allows general tax revenue to fund the FAA. Thus, according to the Wall Street Journal, there is a major political incentive for Congress to change the FAA's funding structure, to solve their own political problems.

Fifthly, Here is an update concerning Missouri Legislation.

The Only Airport and Aviation Bills are as follows:
Missouri House of Representatives
Bills Indexed by Subject

There are no bills indexed by this subject.

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
E-mail address:

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