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Mon, Oct 08, 2018

Industry Reacts To Signing Of FAA Reauthorization Bill

Reviews Generally Favorable, New Model Aircraft Rules Are Immediately In Effect

As you know by now, President Donald Trump signed the long-term FAA reauthorization bill Friday afternoon, ending the debate for another five years.

“Thanks to this new law, our Nation’s aviation programs will have the longest period of stability since 1982, and resilience to disaster will improve for communities across America,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA).  “The many reforms in this law will help strengthen American leadership in aviation, create jobs, and improve safety and service for passengers.  The law also shifts disaster programs to focus more on proactive actions that will help protect lives and property from flooding, hurricanes, fires, and other catastrophes.  I was proud to be joined by my father at the White House today as the President signed this bill into law.”

Industry reaction to the signing was generally favorable. The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and GAMA released a joint statement saying the  new law contains key reforms that can help to transform the U.S. aerospace industry and the FAA, and secure America’s position as a global aviation leader into the future.

“This new law provides direction, training, and tools for the FAA to be able to aggressively implement critical reforms that will enable new aircraft and technologies such as urban air mobility, commercial space, unmanned aerial systems, supersonics, and additive manufacturing. It will also provide our industry the budget stability and certainty we need to deliver on our extensive research and development investments.
 
“At their core, these reforms will help to drive important progress on safety, efficiency, investment, competitiveness and the effective use of taxpayer and industry resources. We appreciated the Congress’ focus on improving the certification process, and including measures to bolster the future aviation workforce, including by increasing the diversity and inclusion of underrepresented groups, so that workforce limitations are not an impediment as our industry continues to expand.
 
“The signing of this legislation into law is an historic opportunity. The FAA’s implementation of these mandated reforms can accelerate change and innovation at the agency. Without them, the pace of new technology will continue to overwhelm the regulatory system. We call on all members of the government and industry to commit to this transformational timeline and work together to implement this legislation.”

“The National Air Transportation Association thanks President Trump for signing into law this comprehensive, five-year FAA reauthorization bill," said NATA president and CEO Gary Dempsey. "We look forward to working with the Administration and federal agencies – including the FAA, DOT, TSA, NTSB, and CBP – on implementing many provisions important to our membership, including those that streamline regulatory and certification processes, assess permissible flight sharing operations, support programs to encourage the next generation of aviation maintenance technicians and pilots, and review illegal charter flights. It’s now time to get to work on executing these important initiatives that contribute to the safety and modernization of our nation’s air transportation system.”

APFA National president Lori Bassani thanked the President and singled out Chairman Bill Shuster and Ranking Member DeFazio for their sustained bipartisan work on getting the bill passed. “Chairman Shuster and Ranking Member DeFazio worked hard, particularly over the past year, to get this important legislation passed. They deserve credit in this time of hyper-partisanship for putting the needs of the workers, the industry and the consumers first,” Bassani stated.

The FAA said the bill establishes new conditions for recreational use of drones and immediately repeals the Special Rule for Model Aircraft.

The agency is evaluating the impacts of this change in the law and how implementation will proceed. The Reauthorization Act cannot be fully implemented immediately, please continue to follow all current policies and guidance with respect to recreational use of drones:

  • Fly for hobby or recreation only
  • Register your model aircraft
  • Fly within visual line-of-sight
  • Follow community-based safety guidelines and fly within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization
  • Fly a drone under 55 lbs. unless certified by a community-based organization
  • Never fly near other aircraft
  • Never fly near emergency response efforts

Updated direction and guidance will be provided as the FAA implements this new legislation.

Chad Budreau, interim Executive Director of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), said the passage of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 marks a new chapter in our organization’s history, and one that has many positive benefits. "For the first time ever, AMA stands to gain official recognition as a community-based organization," Budreau said. "Meanwhile, as a community, we now have an even larger role to play in lending our decades of expertise to the FAA, helping to educate the broader recreational community and working together with the FAA to promote and enhance safety.
 
“AMA’s leadership met with the FAA’s leadership in Washington this week, and we are encouraged by the positive tone of the dialogue. The FAA recognizes AMA’s commitment to safety and has already initiated steps to lean on our institutional knowledge and work collaboratively, ensuring that our hobby can continue to thrive for generations to come.
 
“We look forward to working together in this new chapter as we address issues related to the hobby.”

(Source: News releases. Images from file)

FMI: www.faa.gov, www.modelaircraft.org, www.nata.aero, www.gama.aero, www.apfa.org

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