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Sat, May 23, 2009

GAMA 'Pleased' With House FAA Reauthorization Passage

BUT... Concerned with Repair Station Provision That Threatens US Jobs and Safety Cooperation

GAMA is praising the passage of the FAA Reauthorization bill but expressing concern over a provision that would invalidate a bilateral aviation safety agreement with the European Union (EU), threatening safety cooperation with Europe and potentially jeopardizing thousands of US jobs across the country.

"It is absolutely critical that we move forward on the reauthorization of the FAA programs," said Pete Bunce, GAMA's president and CEO. "Reauthorization will expedite modernization of the air traffic system and help ensure that the FAA can address resource shortages in the certification process."

Specifically, Bunce expressed concerns about Section 303 requiring the FAA to send inspectors to Europe twice a year for mandated inspections of FAA-certified repair stations. This would prevent the implementation of the US-EU bilateral safety agreement. "The consequences of eliminating the safety agreement with the EU would threaten continued certification of EASA-certified repair stations and safety cooperation in areas such as pilot training, operating requirements and new aircraft certifications. This would place many American jobs unnecessarily at risk," said Bunce.

A bipartisan group of 54 members led by Congressman John Barrow (D-GA) signed a letter to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee leadership urging amendment of the provision to "protect the tens of thousands of American jobs that rely on continued U.S. leadership of the global aviation industry." Congressman Aaron Schock asked to make an amendment to Section 303 to protect the safety agreement, which was denied by the House Rules Committee.

Bunce added, "As this bill moves forward, we must change Section 303 to protect the safety agreement. It not only improves safety but helps sustain our industry's record as a contributor to a positive balance of trade, and more importantly, protects tens of thousands of high-paying American jobs."

FMI: www.GAMA.aero

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