Tuesday Hearing Finds No Backers
Eighteen individuals spoke against
the National Air Tour Safety Standards (FAA-1998-4521) notice of
proposed rulemaking (NPRM) at the FAA’s public hearing held
Tuesday, May 11, in Washington (DC). Not one person who testified
at the day-long public meeting spoke in favor of the rule.
Dave Humphreys, EAA member from Shephardstown (WV), represented
the organization at the hearing. Appearing on behalf of the Vintage
Aircraft Association (VAA) and National Association of Flight
Instructors (NAFI) was H.G. Frautschy, VAA Executive Director.
Humphreys included comments on the inherent unfairness of the
proposed rule as well as the FAA’s long tradition of
partnering with EAA and others in aviation to address concerns.
"In EAA’s long tradition of working with the FAA, we did
not just file comments in opposition to this proposed rule, but
provided comprehensive alternatives to the proposal," Humphreys
said. "Suggestions (were) based on the trust and knowledge of the
US airman, the resources of the FAA field inspector force, and our
knowledge of general aviation. We cannot help but ask: Why
didn’t the FAA ask the industry for this information before
introducing this proposed rule?"
EAA’s official comments on the rule, which were submitted
on March 11, 2004, concluded that the proposed sweeping changes to
commercial and noncommercial passenger-carrying operations are not
justified by historic safety data, nor is there sufficient evidence
that safety will be enhanced by these proposals. FAA also failed to
adequately evaluate and address the dramatic negative cost-benefit
impact these proposals would have on the general aviation industry.
Therefore, the rule should be withdrawn.
Frautschy told the panel, "It (FAA) did not take into account
the effect this NPRM would have, if enacted, on a major number of
operators who choose to operate under Part 91 as a commercial
Afterwards, Frautschy noted there were several small-time
aircraft owner/operators who testified that the proposed rule would
put them out of business and devalue their aircraft. "Nobody wanted
that NPRM to stand," he said. "Everyone wanted the rule to be
The FAA has scheduled two additional public hearings on May 21
in Las Vegas (NV), at 9 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. local.