April 26, 2016

In recent visits with industry organizations in Scottsdale, AZ, and Wichita, KS, NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen encouraged continued advocacy on important issues, especially FAA reauthorization. In both meetings, he emphasized the need for the business aviation community to remain engaged in the debate, and continued in opposition to proposals for creating a privatized Air Traffic Control (ATC) system, funded by onerous new user fees.

Last week, Bolen spoke to the National Aircraft Resale Association’s annual spring meeting in Scottsdale, AZ, and this week spoke at the Textron Customer Conference in Wichita, KS, sharing NBAA’s position on the FAA reauthorization debate, and the need for people and companies in the industry to remain involved.

The Senate’s version of the legislation – H.R.636 – has been sent to the House of Representatives for consideration. The bill includes language calling for streamlined certification processes for aviation technology, accelerated implementation of the NextGen air traffic management system and third-class medical reform for pilots of small general aviation aircraft. Importantly, the bill does not include any provisions for privatization of ATC services, and funding of the system by user fees. Read NBAA’s statement on the Senate FAA reauthorization bill.

“FAA reauthorization legislation recently reached a milestone, with the Senate rejecting privatization of ATC,” Bolen told the groups in Phoenix and Wichita. “NBAA believes turning ATC over to a private organization would be a dangerous and risky path. While H.R.636 is welcome legislation, the business aviation community needs to recognize that the process is not over. There is still work to be done, and we need the industry to stay involved.”

Bolen said participation in events like the NARA annual spring meeting and Textron Customer Conference is critical to NBAA’s ability to effectively advocate for business aviation. “These events are an opportunity not only to share what NBAA is doing for our membership, but also to learn what our members are thinking and feeling,” he said. “The exchange of ideas and information is enormously beneficial.

“In Scottsdale and Wichita, I thanked attendees for their previous engagement on FAA reauthorization and reminded them of the need to stay engaged,” Bolen added. The current FAA extension of programs will expire on July 15.

Industry professionals may use NBAA’s Contact Congress resource to communicate with federal legislators about FAA reauthorization. Messages may be sent via email or through social media.