Thu, May 13, 2004
NATA's Coyne Says There Is No Evidence To Support
"Ill-Conceived" FAA Air Tour Plan
NATA president James K.
Coyne (right) Wednesday underscored the devastating impact the
proposed Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air tour rules pose
for small businesses. Coyne spoke at the first of two FAA-sponsored
public meetings addressing proposed regulations for sightseeing and
air tour operators.
"By their own admission, the FAA has no clear idea of the number
and type of operations impacted by their proposal," said Coyne.
"That in itself should raise a huge red flag for all concerned.
There is not one scintilla of evidence to suggest that this is
anything other than more needless FAA red tape for air tour
Under the FAA proposal, using private aircraft for local
sightseeing flights would be eliminated unless the operator obtains
air carrier certification. The rules would also impose numerous
operational and equipment restrictions on all commercial air tour
NATA also submitted formal comments to the FAA on the subject.
The association's comments call for a complete withdrawal of the
proposed rules due to numerous shortcomings in data and little
justification for such a dramatic change to the current regulatory
In his comments during the public meeting, Coyne emphasized the
FAA's inability to support the rule making with hard data. "The
agency should not pursue further rule making until thorough
research is conducted that yields the necessary data so that any
proposed regulations are generated from an educated position for
each of the impacted operational areas," stated Coyne, echoing the
association's recommendation in the prepared comments.
Coyne also expressed consternation at the FAA's statement during
the March "virtual" meeting that compared the air tour industry to
"Making this comparison would be like telling the fishing
charter guide I hired this past summer that his operation is
similar to a cruise line because they both use boats," concluded
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